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Scolopendra subspinipes/dehaani How to work with them

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Teds ts and Inverts, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnodemon Active Member

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    Sounds like you’re all set then. Keep us posted!
     
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  2. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnopeon Active Member

    Thanks again everyone for your input and kind advice!!
     
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  3. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnoknight Active Member

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    They can also climb the silicone in the corners....you can see some visual evidence of this on YouTube. Makes a secure lid on a glass aquarium even more important as even if you give lots of space above the substrate it can get to the top when it wants to....also, if there is *any* gap in the mesh lid you could have an issue, locking top or not...needs to be completely flush. These are smarter inverts that have some ability to problem solve if they want to escape.
     
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  4. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnopeon Active Member

    Good to know, and I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Thx!
     
  5. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I keep several of my centipedes in 10 gallon aquariums - as you say, it looks nicer. And I've got several different lids on them. I've learned the hard way that the lids have to fit snugly and have a heavy enough weight on them to keep the centipede from lifting the lid. Snug-fitting by itself isn't enough. I have a 20 gallon breeding tank that has a divider in it, and when I put a pair of prospective breeders in it I can separate them until they show interest, or at least tolerance of each other - then the screen divider comes out. On a recent pairing I removed the male after they mated so I could return him to his own cage. When I went back to get the female I discovered she had managed to pry the lid up in one corner and make her escape. (Fortunately she got recaptured the next night.) Now I place a board across the lid of each aquarium and put a weight on top of the board.
     
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  6. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnopeon Active Member

    Do you mind posting some pics of the lid for me? I’m trying to get a feel for what I may want to do for an enclosure if the parents allow me to get one. Thx
     
  7. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The ones I use (that I like best) are like the ones in the link below. They used to make hinged ones that were divided lengthwise, and I like those best. They may still make them,but I didn't see them listed when I did this search. You should still pay close attention to ow well the fit - put some weather stripping between the aquarium and the cover if there's any kind of gap. And place a board on top with a weight to keep centipedes from prying the lid open (you'd be surprised how well they can do that).
    http://exo-terra.com/en/products/screen_cover_new.php
     
  8. I live in Tucson and I can vouch for Ken. His animals are all beautiful, I saw the pedes he had in stock about a week ago and they were big and healthy looking. I don't know if he has any pictures on his website but he also has a really nice bearded dragon, a gorgeous python, and a ton of Ts .
     
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  9. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnoknight

    You're getting plenty advice on lids & enclosures, which you should heed, but not much advice on manoeuvring a large dehaani (I use that word to avoid confusing with handling) so I'll see if I can help you out.

    There's a few different ways of moving a pede:
    1. Grab it with tongs/forceps (this is safe so long as you don't squeeze too hard, but there is a chance it will wriggle loose enough to either drop, or run up the forceps towards your hands)
    2. Usher it into a smaller container like a cricket tub (this is not easy with a large aggressive pede that doesn't want to be trapped, as you need to snap the lid shut and there will always be one corner that shuts last, and it's a race between your fingers and the centipede as to who reaches it first, and you don't want to trap legs or antennae)
    3. Pick up the object (branch/moss) which it is walking on with your forceps and move that (this works very well with moss and smaller sized pedes, but you still need to account for it dropping off)
    4. Trap it in a test tube or similar: get a glass or plastic tube with one end sealed and which is tight enough to prevent it turning on itself. Get the centipede to crawl into it. l it crawls in, and once its body is over half way in, pick it up and use your fingers to hold it in place (this one takes some nerve, and that's when you realise how strong these creatures are!)
    If you have a sizeable and flighty centipede, then all of the above should ideally be conducted within a much larger plastic tub, just in case. Failing that, work in the middle of a large flat floor or table with catching boxes and towel (very useful) close at hand.

    My first pede was a 8-9" dehaani with bright plastic-orange legs and an aubergine coloured body, and the most ridiculous speed and temper you could imagine. I was 17 at the time, and put it in a kritter keeper which was approx 12x9x9". That was a mistake, as it could reach the rim rather quickly, so I had no way of safely getting it out of there into another tub using any of the methods above:
    1. I didn't have (and couldn't afford) forceps long enough to pick it up.
    2. I didn't have a larger second container to work in, so areal transfers were a no-go.
    3. I couldn't do much work with the lid open as it could reach the lid (and I had to slam it shut in a hurry more than once)
    4. I didn't have the balls to try the test tube method.
    I tried to trap it in a bottle and all sorts of other tricks but in the end I decided to build a noose out of a 1/2" wide rod, a curtain clip and a shoe lace, then do the transfer to a larger enclosure in the garden. Although nothing went wrong, it was a bad decision as the centipede turned and gripped the rod and I had to squeeze the noose way tighter than I would have ideally liked to stop it running up the rod, which could have ended in one of the 3 D's (damage, disappearance or damn painful experience).

    It was simply a case of wrong sized enclosure: a smaller one could have been placed in the only larger container I had, a larger one would have allowed me to work with the lid open. If I had to find a solution to the problem again I would build a manual trap (one that I close) that sat in its cage.

    All of this will sound over-dramatic to people who haven't worked with that kind of pede (it even sounds excessive to me now) but you've got to go with your own assessment of the risks based on your pede's behaviour, how bad it would be if it got loose etc...
     
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  10. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnoknight

    The test tube method in action:

    20180505_125445.jpg
     
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  11. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnopeon Active Member

    Will do, I’d probably go with the 2nd method, as I’ve seen it done before. Another trick that I’ve seen with that method is using a large tub as it gives the centipede more space, which in turn, gives me more time to close the lid. And btw, nice hardwickei :)
     
  12. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnoknight

    It was method 2 which gave me bother. It works fine for creatures with "body" like a tarantula or scorpion, where you can still contain it despite a leg poking out of a gap, but with a pede it's the head that will poke out of any gap, and then it's not contained, and dangerously close to fingers, so you need to close the tub completely. At least that was my dilemma, and why I couldn't move it.

    Since then I've found a good technique is to put moss in the tub. The pede crawls in and starts digging, and you have a far better chance of closing the lid on it that if the tub was empty. That's how I got this bad boy into such a small tub:

    20180507_185312.jpg
     
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  13. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnopeon Active Member

    Thanks for the tip, makes sense that the pede would just try to hide away under the moss when disturbed. That should be very helpful. I’d also probably use the forceps method, but I’d probably be really nervous that it manages to run up the tongs. Maybe give it something to eat to distract it, then pick it up? I’d bet that’d be easier as it would be too busy concentrating on its food to worry about me. Thx again!