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S. dehanni escaped!

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by velvetundergrowth, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. velvetundergrowth

    velvetundergrowth Lobopro Arachnosupporter

    So I've had my 7 inch S. dehanni for exactly three days now, and already I have learned to never underestimate these escape artists again.
    Just as I'm about to switch off the lights and go to my bedroom, I see the centipede that I thought was securely contained crawling across the floor in the downstairs hallway of my house. Half an hour before, I had seen that same pede burrowed snugly at the bottom of it's container. After letting out a very loud expletive and sprinting for the largest tupper lunchbox I could find I managed to trap the centipede without any trouble and place in in a temporary enclosure.
    Turns out at least one of the air holes in center of the container lid was large enough for the pede to squeeze through. There's no way the centipede could have crawled up the side and across the underside of the lid, so the pede would have had to stand in the middle of the enclosure and rise itself up to the middle of the lid! Now, there isn't a ton of space between lid and substrate as I provided a deep layer, but the centipede still would have to have raised at least 2/3rds of it's body in the air! After squeezing through the hole it somehow snuck out of the animal room, out of the room in which that is located, across the landing, down a long flight of stairs and across the hall... In less than half an hour!

    My heart is still pounding, but mostly feel I extremely lucky to have the pede literally walk out in front of me before I missed it and remained unaware of it's escape for potentially a day or two! (That is, if one of the other occupants of the house didn't encounter it before then) I live in a cool climate and even now in summer the centipede wouldn't have survived long, which would be have been the depressing outcome even if it didn't show up to terrorize the family.

    Never again will I underestimate the ability of these creatures to become loose. Presuming I'm able to get some sleep, I'll be making a mini Alcatraz to house the pede as soon as I wake up...

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  2. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    Glad you found it before it found you.
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  3. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I recaptured an escaped dehaani a few days ago - but fortunately under less dramatic circumstances. During routine feeding and cage maintenance I noticed that the lid had become unlatched. I dug through the substrate and verified that the beast was on the loose. But this has happened before, so I've taken some precautions. First, the room that I keep the centipedes in now has a barrier at the door that is slick on the side facing into the room. You have to step over the barrier every time you enter or exit the room, but it helps keep escapees confined to that room. Second, I keep several plastic one-gallon flower pots in the room and they are about half full of damp sphagnum. Several escapees have taken shelter in those pots, making recapture very easy. And that's what happened on the escapee earlier this week. I picked up the pot closest to the door and emptied it into a five gallon bucket - and watched the dehaani run a couple laps around the bucket. Within a few minutes of discovering he had escaped he was back in captivity.
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  4. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnodemon Active Member

    I'd read (and believed) that centipedes can't support more than half their body length when trying to climb a smooth surface. A S. mutilans I had proved that wrong. I never did find it. On the wall near it's enclosure was a old furnace vent that went to the basement but wasn't connected to anything. Even though the the vent was closed the pede was only 4 inches so I'm sure it could have squeezed through. I didn't bother to look in the basement as it was a old farmhouse and the walls were made of stones.
  5. vyadha

    vyadha Arachnosquire Active Member

    Bill, i used your sphag bucket trick out along a dried creek where i take students to find inverts. Over 4 days we had 5 polymorpha and two A pococki scorpions. Really cool trick.
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  6. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Glad to hear it worked for you!