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Velvet Worm Vivarium - Epiperipatus barbadensis

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by AbraxasComplex, May 11, 2017.

  1. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

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    Here's a nighttime photo of a baby in a soil burrow against the glass.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. KevinsWither

    KevinsWither Arachnobaron

  3. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    "A" baby...does this mean there is more than one? :D
     
  4. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Currently there are 3, but only one in the terrarium.
     
  5. Tleilaxu

    Tleilaxu Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The baby was due to stress or the mother trying to abort it (assuming velvet worms do that as a survival strategy) to ensure mom's survival rather than the result of successful breeding attempts.

    As we have all found it seems these animals are far more fragile than anticipated, and getting a stable healthy colony takes years.

    Still it is a sign of the OPs skill and luck that this baby has survived so far.

    If I recall the OP has around 17 or so velvet worms in total, and may that number always go up.
     
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  6. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I thought there was only one stress birth. Whoops.
     
  7. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    There were a few. If I start seeing new babies in the next few weeks I'll be quite happy.
     
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  8. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    It's been a few weeks so I thought I'd drop an update. Of the two groups the one in the small container all 9 are happy and healthy, with the 2 babies slowly growing. The terrarium group I saw 6 out of 8 out and about at one time (including the original solitary baby) and the other night I saw 2 babies at once. So this means that are producing young in the terrarium and it is not a stress induced birth like before. Granted the mother was most likely already gravid, but if I see fresh babies pop up after a few months it may be a sign they are reproducing in the environment I gave them. For feeding wise they actively come out to hunt crickets when I throw them in and I've witnessed one glue one to the ground and crawl over to start munching on the still living insect. However they are overly sensitive to light and I couldn't snap a decent photo before the peripatus started to retreat and abandon their meals (don't worry I stopped attempting as soon as they started evading the light and they returned to the prey they just killed). I added a single sub adult specimen of a small garden millipede species to the terrarium to help create more burrows for the velvet worms. I did this previously for them before in one of the quarantine containers hoping they may eat it, but it merely acted as a provider of convenient burrows and I sometimes found it sleeping with the peripatus. I wonder if in the wild the Barbados Bumblebee Millipede (Anadenobolus monilicornus) or something similar lives in the same area and the peripatus utilize their thin burrows as shelter.
     
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  9. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Glad to hear these are doing well! That millipede tidbit is interesting--I wonder if it's too heavily armored for them, or maybe they've evolved not to touch millipedes because millipedes are often toxic.
     
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  10. Tleilaxu

    Tleilaxu Arachnoprince Old Timer

    You will have to buy a red light flashlight and film them that way.... Congratulations on them finally settling.
     
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  11. Hisserdude

    Hisserdude Arachnoprince

    Very nice, glad they seem to be doing well and giving birth still! :D Very interesting, using the millipede to create burrows for them, I like it!
     
  12. Xafron

    Xafron Arachnosquire

    Thanks for the continued updates. I find this fascinating.
     
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  13. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Found a new baby in the quarantine container with all other young and adults accounted for. :D
     
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  14. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    A note to the wise, if your Velvet Worms decide to utilize the burrows against the glass which offers you a convenient viewing window do not add a millipede to create more burrows. You'll never see them. Food disappears, but instead of seeing 5+ at a time you may only see 1 or 2 every other day.

    Also I freaked myself out tonight with a new discovery. I thought a velvet worm was covered with a rippled white fungus near the end of its body. Turns out they shed their skin like snakes. I took her out and realized it far too late once I grabbed a main chunk with a moist q-tip in a quarantine container. Sadly I did not grab a photo before I gently removed the crumpled chunk of skin. I hope my mistake did not stress her out too much and she sheds completely with no issues.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
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  15. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnoknight

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    Yeah, it seems like they're not exactly like arthropods. That might complicate things for you, but good luck with her shedding/molting/whatever we call it for velvet worms.
     
  16. TylerFishman5675

    TylerFishman5675 Arachnosquire

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    I belive when I lived down south in Fl when I was little, it was night I saw a glimpse of a velvet worm, Are they native to the U.S. Im no expert on this species at all. I classify them as the odballs of the invert hobby, like land planarians or leeches.
     
  17. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnoknight

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    There's a bunch of different species, so I imagine there are at least a couple that live in the US. I'm no expert either, though.
     
  18. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    @AbraxasComplex updates? Pics? I've been anxious to know how these fellas are doing
     
  19. AFAIK there aren't supposed to be any in the US, but they're found in the Caribbean so I imagine it's not completely inconceivable that they could wind up in Florida. But if that was in any way a regular occurrence I feel like we'd be hearing more about it.
     
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