Advice Request for Biolumincent Millipede

marshallsmarsha

Arachnopeon
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Apr 26, 2007
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Hi I am about to receive several Motyxia (Bioluminescent Millipedes)collected in US West Coast mountains. From what I understand this species has never been cultivated. Does anyone have any info on their proper care? Substrate, temperature and humidity range suggestions would all be very much appreciated! THANKS!
 

marshallsmarsha

Arachnopeon
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Apr 26, 2007
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Thanks all. I know it was high altitude and temps in the mid-40's. Unfortunately I can not replicate the altitude. I am considering keeping them in an mini fridge...
 

ErinM31

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This is what @zonbonzovi told me of the area they were collected:
We collected the bulk of things at night. 43F seems low but it was definitely low 50s at best while we were up there. During the day we did collect a smaller number. I would estimate high 60s at around 6250 elevation, although it felt hotter. This area was dominated by pines. Very little oak. They were in a montane meadow but the bulk of what we found were on the outskirts of the meadows under thick pine cover. Lodgepole and Sugar pines, for sure. Not exactly sure what other species. What I think they were eating was well degraded mulch from under the pines...I assume wood and needles that have been there for at least a couple seasons, if not longer. They could be specialists of this but based on other locations I think they may be generalists of multiple tree species. Some of the locations from an old paper were in very different habitat, much drier with sparse pine coverage, more scrub plants and of course, oak.​

Based on this, I am planning to keep mine in a wine cooler around 60ºF. For substrate, I plan to use mostly well-decayed oak on a base with coir mixed in as I have for my other Polydesmids but I hope to also provide them with lodgepole pine shavings (there are several companies which specialize in making furniture from this wood and sell the shavings for horse bedding -- I have contacted one to see if they would be willing to sell me a MUCH smaller quantity). I plan to start with the substrate not bone-dry, but dry, with a small area very moist so that the moisture radiates out a bit from there to create a gradient and I can see what the Motyxia prefer. I did this with my Abacion that I found; it definitely likes drier conditions than most millipedes but not as dry as I had at first expected.

I hope that is of some help and good luck! I can't wait to see these millipedes! :astonished:
 

Metastasize

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Aug 11, 2014
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Here's a paper I found on them, although it is old and the species in this paper was originally under the genus Luminodesmus before being moved under Motyxia. It covers breeding and housing for them and they seemed to do well in captivity, although I only read the first 6 pages.
http://www.biolbull.org/content/102/2/100.full.pdf
 
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ErinM31

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Here's a paper I found on them, although it is old and the species in this paper was originally under the genus Luminodesmus before being moved under Motyxia. It covers breeding and housing for them and they seemed to do well in captivity, although I only read the first 6 pages.
Can you post a link to the paper, please? :)
 

Hisserdude

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VERY interesting, seems that they may actually be rather easy to breed, and are not as sensitive to temperatures as we thought. However, it seems adults usually die off in the summer, so all the individuals we are receiving may actually be at the end of their life cycles, unless I read that wrong... hopefully they will still be healthy enough to produce offspring for us.
EDIT: Actually they were brought into the lab in may and egg masses were found in mid July, so they should still be able to reproduce for us, provided we can keep them happy. Also, they lay a ton of eggs, so that's nice. :)
 
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Munax

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Jul 5, 2015
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VERY interesting, seems that they may actually be rather easy to breed, and are not as sensitive to temperatures as we thought. However, it seems adults usually die off in the summer, so all the individuals we are receiving may actually be at the end of their life cycles, unless I read that wrong... hopefully they will still be healthy enough to produce offspring for us.
EDIT: Actually they were brought into the lab in may and egg masses were found in mid July, so they should still be able to reproduce for us, provided we can keep them happy. Also, they lay a ton of eggs, so that's nice. :)
Sorry I don't have the time to read all that lol. Does it mention anything about is total lifespan? Do they live the standard 7-10 years or is it less?
 

BobBarley

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Wow, awesome thread, hope you guys have success with rearing these incredible millipedes! Anyone have a pic of them lighting up?
 

Chris52

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Mar 14, 2016
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184
Here's a paper I found on them, although it is old and the species in this paper was originally under the genus Luminodesmus before being moved under Motyxia. It covers breeding and housing for them and they seemed to do well in captivity, although I only read the first 6 pages.
http://www.biolbull.org/content/102/2/100.full.pdf
That's a very interesting paper (I read all 12 pages.). It would lead you to believe that they are fairly easy to keep and breed in captivity. I certainly hope this is the case.
Wow, awesome thread, hope you guys have success with rearing these incredible millipedes! Anyone have a pic of them lighting up?
I'll have pics as soon as I recieve mine in a few days.:)
 

Hisserdude

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Sorry I don't have the time to read all that lol. Does it mention anything about is total lifespan? Do they live the standard 7-10 years or is it less?
It did not seem say how long the adults lived in the lab, however I doubt any NA Polydesmid lives over 3-4 years, and many of them probably live less than that. In the wild it seems that all the Motyxia adults die off in the summer drought where they live, at least with the species that article was about.
 
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Hisserdude

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Wow, awesome thread, hope you guys have success with rearing these incredible millipedes! Anyone have a pic of them lighting up?
I'll try to get pictures of them in the dark once they arrive, however Peter says it is a faint glow, so it's probably not that impressive.
 

ErinM31

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Here's a paper I found on them, although it is old and the species in this paper was originally under the genus Luminodesmus before being moved under Motyxia. It covers breeding and housing for them and they seemed to do well in captivity, although I only read the first 6 pages.
http://www.biolbull.org/content/102/2/100.full.pdf
Thank you so much for posting this!!! :D I wish there were more papers on the life cycles and husbandry of different species of millipedes!

VERY interesting, seems that they may actually be rather easy to breed, and are not as sensitive to temperatures as we thought. However, it seems adults usually die off in the summer, so all the individuals we are receiving may actually be at the end of their life cycles, unless I read that wrong... hopefully they will still be healthy enough to produce offspring for us.
EDIT: Actually they were brought into the lab in may and egg masses were found in mid July, so they should still be able to reproduce for us, provided we can keep them happy. Also, they lay a ton of eggs, so that's nice. :)
That's a very interesting paper (I read all 12 pages.). It would lead you to believe that they are fairly easy to keep and breed in captivity. I certainly hope this is the case.
Indeed! It makes me wonder why Motyxia haven't been more widely cultivated before! I HOPE that they are as robust and easy to breed as this paper makes them sound! Although now I feel rather silly for getting a wine cooler. :wacky: Oh well, my Harpaphe will still appreciate it and I won't have to run the AC so much so maybe it will pay for itself. From the paper, it sounds like they aren't xeric after all. I will still provide a moisture gradient to be sure, but now I think I will provide humus and mulch instead of predominantly wood. It's cool that we're all getting them and can compare notes on what works and what doesn't! :)

Wow, awesome thread, hope you guys have success with rearing these incredible millipedes! Anyone have a pic of them lighting up?
Thank you! :happy: Soon as I get them I will try to get some photos. I look forward to seeing @Hisserdude 's photos of them! :D
 

Hisserdude

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Thank you so much for posting this!!! :D I wish there were more papers on the life cycles and husbandry of different species of millipedes!





Indeed! It makes me wonder why Motyxia haven't been more widely cultivated before! I HOPE that they are as robust and easy to breed as this paper makes them sound! Although now I feel rather silly for getting a wine cooler. :wacky: Oh well, my Harpaphe will still appreciate it and I won't have to run the AC so much so maybe it will pay for itself. From the paper, it sounds like they aren't xeric after all. I will still provide a moisture gradient to be sure, but now I think I will provide humus and mulch instead of predominantly wood. It's cool that we're all getting them and can compare notes on what works and what doesn't! :)



Thank you! :happy: Soon as I get them I will try to get some photos. I look forward to seeing @Hisserdude 's photos of them! :D
Yeah, I'm really hoping these are as hardy as the ones in the article, however these may be a different species and were collected in a montane environment, so it's possible that they could be more finicky when it comes to temps.

Yeah, we are all like the beta testers for these millipedes, hopefully we can work together to find out exactly what breeding perimeters they like best. :)

Thanks, I look forward to photographing them, providing that they arrive alive. :D
On a side not I'm occasionally not getting alerts when I'm tagged, makes me wonder how many people have tried tagging me without me knowing...
 

Chris52

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184
That's a very interesting paper. It would lead you to believe that they are fairly easy to keep and breed in captivity. I certainly hope this is the case.

I'll have pics as soon as I recieve mine in a few days.:)
Thank you so much for posting this!!! :D I wish there were more papers on the life cycles and husbandry of different species of millipedes!





Indeed! It makes me wonder why Motyxia haven't been more widely cultivated before! I HOPE that they are as robust and easy to breed as this paper makes them sound! Although now I feel rather silly for getting a wine cooler. :wacky: Oh well, my Harpaphe will still appreciate it and I won't have to run the AC so much so maybe it will pay for itself. From the paper, it sounds like they aren't xeric after all. I will still provide a moisture gradient to be sure, but now I think I will provide humus and mulch instead of predominantly wood. It's cool that we're all getting them and can compare notes on what works and what doesn't! :)



Thank you! :happy: Soon as I get them I will try to get some photos. I look forward to seeing @Hisserdude 's photos of them! :D
Do you think something like the humus they sell for gardening would work? I am also thinking that they should have a deeper substrate than what I currently have set up. (The paper says they were kept on 5-6 inches.)
 

ErinM31

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Do you think something like the humus they sell for gardening would work? I am also thinking that they should have a deeper substrate than what I currently have set up. (The paper says they were kept on 5-6 inches.)
So long as it doesn't contain any added fertilizer and is just composted vegetation. I'm planning on using some of the millipede substrate from BIC.
 

ErinM31

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I forgot to ensure my express shipment would beheld at the post office and when I saw that they had arrived this morning, I drove there first thing. I waited in line twice for more than an hour in total (I wasn't leaving without my millipedes), before we figured out that my package had not been held for pick-up but gone out for delivery and oh look, at that very moment they tried and failed to make the delivery to my home address... Yes, I ordered a wine cooler and paid for express shipping and then let my millipedes ride around in a truck in 90ºF heat. Brilliant.

EDIT: Despite being in the heat more than I would have wished, the millipedes arrived safely today after all. :)
 
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