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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 Arachnoprince 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 Arachnosquire Active Member

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

    StampFan Arachnobaron 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 Arachnosquire 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 Arachnosquire 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. AZCeptipede

    AZCeptipede Arachnosquire

    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 Arachnosquire 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 Arachnosquire 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!
     
  14. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnosquire Active Member

    Ok guys so my Dad put the definite “no” on Scolopendra dehaani. However, he did say that I could probably get a giant pede that doesn’t have as bad of a bite that dehaani has. The same shop that had the dehaani told me that they could probably get me a S. gigantea “white legs” for $350. I’ve heard that their venom is NOWHERE near as bad as dehaani and even heros venom is worse than gigantea, so my dad said he’d consider it. So if you guys have any knowledge on their bite and behavior, feel free to reply here but I will be making another thread for my specific questions. Thanks to all that replied here and wish me luck!!! :)
     
  15. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    There has been one death to a child due to gigantea venom in the literature.
     
  16. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnosquire Active Member

    By chance do you have a link to an article or a report for more detail? A child has also died due to a subspinipes bite, but she was bitten on the head and was only six years old. Swelling on the head is probably what caused the death and therefore was just a freak accident.
     
  17. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The only deaths I've heard of from centipede bite were the one mentioned above (possibly by a dehanni, back when dehanni was a subspecies of subspinipes) and another one not that long ago an adult male in Egypt, probably by S. morsitans. I had a copy of the medical report on that one, but not sure where it is right now. Kind of a freak situation in which his systems shut down. There are plenty of cases of bites by both S. morsitans and S. dehanni (S. subspinipes dehanni) in which far less serious symptoms are the norm. I also knew of a bite by S. heros that caused kidney failure in a Tucson, Arizona, woman. The woman involved was the next door neighbor of a woman I was working with at the time, so I got the reports as they developed. Unfortunately, I do not know what the final resolution of that case was.
     
  18. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I believe there is a reference right on the Wikipedia page.
     
  19. Teds ts and Inverts

    Teds ts and Inverts Arachnosquire Active Member

    Alright everyone, my dad gave me permission to get Scolopendra heros (arizonensis or castiniceps), so even though I’ll definitely be paying more than I would’ve for a dehaani, Scolopendra heros is probably the more active and, imo, the prettier pede. Nonetheless, a dream has come true for me. :) If anyone knows of anyone that has one that they are looking to sell, please lmk (I would like arizonensis or castiniceps). Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread, you guys really helped me out and I really appreciate it. Thx again!
     
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  20. Bill S

    Bill S Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I think you'll be happy with this. I've got all three variants of the heros at the moment (arizonensis, heros, and castaneiceps). I've mostly kept arizonensis, and one of the things I like about them is that they are very pretty and spend a lot of time where you can see them. Be sure to give them a wide variety of foods - I've heard that one of the suspicions as to why so many long term captives gradually turn brown instead of the vibrant orange of a wild one is due to dietary deficiency. I'm not sure how true this is, but I've broadened the range of foods I give mine "just in case".
     
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