Advice Request for Biolumincent Millipede

Chris52

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Mar 14, 2016
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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.
Well, that stinks. I went out and bought a bag of humus, not realizing until I got home that the bag said "Humus AND MANURE". I guess I'll just have to use it in my garden instead.:bored:
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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I forgot to ask Peter to have my express shipment held at the post office, just assumed. I saw that they had reached the post office this morning and so drove there through unexpectedly bad construction traffic, 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. I should have remembered to say to have them held for pick-up; failing that, I should have NOTICED and made sure that I was home for their delivery. I try to think of everything and then am that stupid. Sorry for the rant. I feel sick right now. And since BIC is sold-out, I cannot even order more if these don't make it.
fml
Oh, yikes, sorry to hear that. USPS just loves to screw everything up man. One time my package was a day late due to them "not finding a suitable address to deliver" the package. I asked the (kind) mail lady what that meant the next day and she said "I don't know how the US postal service works!"... :vulcan:

I'm actually waiting until next week to get my millipedes sent, next week it'll be in the low 80s here rather than the high 90s. They'll have a much better chance of survival that way.
 

Chris52

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So I'm guessing that the humus I bought isn't suitable for millipedes? It says on the bag that it contains about 90% organic humus and 10% manure.
 

Hisserdude

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So I'm guessing that the humus I bought isn't suitable for millipedes? It says on the bag that it contains about 90% organic humus and 10% manure.
As long as it's composted manure, and seems really decayed, I'm sure it's ok to use. Still, make sure they have tons of rotten wood!
 

Chris52

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184
As long as it's composted manure, and seems really decayed, I'm sure it's ok to use. Still, make sure they have tons of rotten wood!
I went ahead and mixed the humus into the substrate. I'm assuming it's fine, because of the texture, and the fact that it didn't smell at all. There's still a good amount wood, as I added more with the humus.

Man, I hope this works out!
 

Hisserdude

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I went ahead and mixed the humus into the substrate. I'm assuming it's fine, because of the texture, and the fact that it didn't smell at all. There's still a good amount wood, as I added more with the humus.

Man, I hope this works out!
Ok, sounds good, hope your pedes find it tasty! :)

Yeah, I really hope they do well in captivity. Since I'm getting mine a week later than many of you I will be able to use your experiences to better care for my millipedes, thanks beta testers! :p
 

ErinM31

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Feb 25, 2016
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Oh, yikes, sorry to hear that. USPS just loves to screw everything up man. One time my package was a day late due to them "not finding a suitable address to deliver" the package. I asked the (kind) mail lady what that meant the next day and she said "I don't know how the US postal service works!"... :vulcan:

I'm actually waiting until next week to get my millipedes sent, next week it'll be in the low 80s here rather than the high 90s. They'll have a much better chance of survival that way.
Well, in this case all the mistakes were mine. :( I was told a re-delivery could not be scheduled until tomorrow but at 2 PM, there was a knock on my door and there was the mailman with my package! :astonished: I don't know how or why but I was SOOO grateful, he must have wondered just what was inside that I thanked him so much, lol! All the Mytoxia seem alright and they are lovely millipedes even without the super powers! :D
 

ErinM31

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I went ahead and mixed the humus into the substrate. I'm assuming it's fine, because of the texture, and the fact that it didn't smell at all. There's still a good amount wood, as I added more with the humus.

Man, I hope this works out!
Sounds like it should work! I would normally advice against using a product with manure but of course dirt in the wild would contain a component thereof and since you've added extra wood, I think it should work well. :)
 

ErinM31

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Since I'm getting mine a week later than many of you I will be able to use your experiences to better care for my millipedes, thanks beta testers! :p
Smart man! ;)

Right now mine are on a mix of coir and mostly oak (from dust to small bits) with some wet sphagnum moss in one corner. Most are wandering about and those who aren't get wandered over, lol. I will be adding leaves (once they cool, still in the oven) and some millipede substrate when it arrives in the next day or two. :)
 

Chris52

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184
Sounds like it should work! I would normally advice against using a product with manure but of course dirt in the wild would contain a component thereof and since you've added extra wood, I think it should work well. :)
Ok, sounds good, hope your pedes find it tasty! :)

Yeah, I really hope they do well in captivity. Since I'm getting mine a week later than many of you I will be able to use your experiences to better care for my millipedes, thanks beta testers! :p
Lol. I wonder if millipedes have individual food preferences....
Well, in this case all the mistakes were mine. :( I was told a re-delivery could not be scheduled until tomorrow but at 2 PM, there was a knock on my door and there was the mailman with my package! :astonished: I don't know how or why but I was SOOO grateful, he must have wondered just what was inside that I thanked him so much, lol! All the Mytoxia seem alright and they are lovely millipedes even without the super powers! :D
Make sure to get pics!
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
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3,346
Well, hello! And I thought these would create limited interest, lol. The truth about these is that you all know about as much as I do about these other than habitat particulars that I can help fill in. As Erin mentioned, these were collected mainly at night, somewhere between 9:30-11:30pm. I was in shorts but it felt damned cold compared to the daytime temps(mid-high 80s) several miles away and 3500 ft. lower. A thunderstorm rolled in and we got light rain before collecting. This may or may not have assisted in seeing the numbers that we did. In my experience with other xystodesmids this is not always a factor. The temps are debatable but somewhere in between low 40s - low 50s F sounds about right. Not many were found in the meadow except those under fallen wood during the daytime (around mid 60s). The bulk of these came from the outskirts of the meadow under reasonably thick, mature pine coverage...open enough to walk through easily but well shaded during the daytime. We collected in a small area as there were large numbers all around us and well beyond We used a 100 LED blacklight to locate them as they flouresced like scorpions. The faint glow wasn't readily apparent until we got back to the car about an hour later. My best guess is that these are Motyxia tiemanni based on the range map, not on having keyed it out.

Other factoids:

-We found no evidence of Motyxia at lower elevations where they'd previously been found. This could be due to temperature, time of year, extirpation, etc.
-Bioluminescence varies between individual species. I think the the northernmost species "glows" brightest.
-A small number of these were collected at other sites and very well may be one of the other species.
-Colors vary between off white to orange and is not a condition of recent molts.
-After collection a few were observed eating the detritus that was collected with them. From this location it would have been a pine species, (I'm not forester so determining which pine is lost on me although what we saw resembled sugar, lodgepole, and ponderosa...other locations contained cedar, oak and various other broadleafs, however, the dominant tree was pine...think large cones). That which was being eaten was well decayed which to me means a couple of seasons. I think that they are isolated geographically but can only speculate that they may consume things outside of their native range. Only one way to find out, eh?
-Known collection areas see quite a bit of snow. These areas range from 3000-10000 feet although I would estimate populations trend toward being above 5000 primarily.
-They are fragile. Duh. I think that overexposure to heat and handling will kill them. They are montane, after all. Don't put them in with your animals from tropical locations and expect health ;)

What does all this mean? Wear kid gloves in how you attempt to raise them in captivity. Observe and share what you find. I know they've been collected before and no one has done well...yet. Dig a few inches down next to the trunk of a pine tree during spring and you'll find a reasonable gradation in humidity for these. Hint: other creatures found nearby: Omus sp., Schaphinotus sp., Uroctones mordax, Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis If they do reproduce remember that small creatures eat small things. I'm not sure whether or not these will subsist on adult frass but I wouldn't count it out. Try to provide a gradation of mulch along with a gradation of temperatures. Soil depth helps! These will burrow away from deleterious conditions like heat and excess water. Give them at least a few inches. Shipping experiences have been mixed. Could be due to being jostled but one box did very well and the other not so much.

I'll post photos and any more thoughts as they come. I hope everyone has great luck and more importantly, solid documentation!

P.S., edit, etc: these will gas one another. But how does one keep them together, you may ask? They do this as a defense so avoid stimuli that encourage said defense. Tossing a bunch together all at once with little ventilation is a bad idea. Give them room to roam and again, a good amount of soil to do their business in and introduce them in a way that doesn't invite instinctual defenses. I think some of the shipping problems in the past have been due to poor packing. Ample substrate or dense material that doesn't compact will probably cut back on losses. ANY invert that has chemical defenses will perish when many are placed together and subjected to trauma.
 
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Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Messages
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Well, hello! And I thought these would create limited interest, lol. The truth about these is that you all know about as much as I do about these other than habitat particulars that I can help fill in. As Erin mentioned, these were collected mainly at night, somewhere between 9:30-11:30pm. I was in shorts but it felt damned cold compared to the daytime temps(mid-high 80s) several miles away and 3500 ft. lower. A thunderstorm rolled in and we got light rain before collecting. This may or may not have assisted in seeing the numbers that we did. In my experience with other xystodesmids this is not always a factor. The temps are debatable but somewhere in between low 40s - low 50s F sounds about right. Not many were found in the meadow except those under fallen wood during the daytime (around mid 60s). The bulk of these came from the outskirts of the meadow under reasonably thick, mature pine coverage...open enough to walk through easily but well shaded during the daytime. We collected in a small area as there were large numbers all around us and well beyond We used a 100 LED blacklight to locate them as they flouresced like scorpions. The faint glow wasn't readily apparent until we got back to the car about an hour later. My best guess is that these are Motyxia tiemanni based on the range map, not on having keyed it out.

Other factoids:

-We found no evidence of Motyxia at lower elevations where they'd previously been found. This could be due to temperature, time of year, extirpation, etc.
-Bioluminescence varies between individual species. I think the the northernmost species "glows" brightest.
-A small number of these were collected at other sites and very well may be one of the other species.
-Colors vary between off white to orange and is not a condition of recent molts.
-After collection a few were observed eating the detritus that was collected with them. From this location it would have been a pine species, (I'm not forester so determining which pine is lost on me although what we saw resembled sugar, lodgepole, and ponderosa...other locations contained cedar, oak and various other broadleafs, however, the dominant tree was pine...think large cones). That which was being eaten was well decayed which to me means a couple of seasons. I think that they are isolated geographically but can only speculate that they may consume things outside of their native range. Only one way to find out, eh?
-Known collection areas see quite a bit of snow. These areas range from 3000-10000 feet although I would estimate populations trend toward being above 5000 primarily.
-They are fragile. Duh. I think that overexposure to heat and handling will kill them. They are montane, after all. Don't put them in with your animals from tropical locations and expect health ;)

What does all this mean? Wear kid gloves in how you attempt to raise them in captivity. Observe and share what you find. I know they've been collected before and no one has done well...yet. Dig a few inches down next to the trunk of a pine tree during spring and you'll find a reasonable gradation in humidity for these. Hint: other creatures found nearby: Omus sp., Schaphinotus sp., Uroctones mordax, Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis If they do reproduce remember that small creatures eat small things. I'm not sure whether or not these will subsist on adult frass but I wouldn't count it out. Try to provide a gradation of mulch along with a gradation of temperatures. Soil depth helps! These will burrow away from deleterious conditions like heat and excess water. Give them at least a few inches. Shipping experiences have been mixed. Could be due to being jostled but one box did very well and the other not so much.

I'll post photos and any more thoughts as they come. I hope everyone has great luck and more importantly, solid documentation!

P.S., edit, etc: these will gas one another. But how does one keep them together, you may ask? They do this as a defense so avoid stimuli that encourage said defense. Tossing a bunch together all at once with little ventilation is a bad idea. Give them room to roam and again, a good amount of soil to do their business in and introduce them in a way that doesn't invite instinctual defenses. I think some of the shipping problems in the past have been due to poor packing. Ample substrate or dense material that doesn't compact will probably cut back on losses. ANY invert that has chemical defenses will perish when many are placed together and subjected to trauma.
Very interesting, thank you very much for the info! I am very excited for next week! :) How is the sex ratio on these guys, does it seem pretty even? I only bought three, so I'm hoping I get a sexed pair or some gravid females.

Have you seen the article @Metastasize linked to here?:
What are your thoughts on it?

And lastly, sort of a random question, do you know of any Motyxia that could range into Idaho, or is the genus endemic to California?
EDIT: Nevermind, read the re-evaluation by Rowland Shelly and saw the range map for the whole genus, they only live in CA.
 
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Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Messages
2,200
Well, in this case all the mistakes were mine. :( I was told a re-delivery could not be scheduled until tomorrow but at 2 PM, there was a knock on my door and there was the mailman with my package! :astonished: I don't know how or why but I was SOOO grateful, he must have wondered just what was inside that I thanked him so much, lol! All the Mytoxia seem alright and they are lovely millipedes even without the super powers! :D
Awesome, glad they arrived safely! :) Hope they do well for you, keep us updated for sure!!
 

ErinM31

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Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
1,166
Awesome, glad they arrived safely! :) Hope they do well for you, keep us updated for sure!!
Me too! Thank you! Here's a picture of several of my Motyxia -- look at those long legs!
Motyxia tiemanni (1).JPG
They are currently on coir mixed with fermented oak sawdust and bits of several hardwoods and I added lots of oak leaves after taking this photo, but they still seem restless, like my Harpaphe before I added Douglas Fir to her enclosure. I'm going to get them lodgepole or ponderosa shavings ASAP and their wine cooler arrives next week. Decaying matter from those trees would be preferable, but I don't think I know anyone in range of those species. Do you think boiling the shavings would help breakdown/extract resins present in fresh wood that might be bad for the millipedes? It seems to extract tannins from oak leaves.

@zonbonzovi Thank you so much for the additional information!!! :D

EDIT: I just ordered some ponderosa pine shavings that will be here by the end of the week. :)
 
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Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Me too! Thank you! Here's a picture of several of my Motyxia -- look at those long legs!
View attachment 212810
They are currently on coir mixed with fermented oak sawdust and bits of several hardwoods and I added lots of oak leaves after taking this photo, but they still seem restless, like my Harpaphe before I added Douglas Fir to her enclosure. I'm going to get them lodgepole or ponderosa shavings ASAP and their wine cooler arrives next week. Decaying matter from those trees would be preferable, but I don't think I know anyone in range of those species. Do you think boiling the shavings would help breakdown/extract resins present in fresh wood that might be bad for the millipedes? It seems to extract tannins from oak leaves.

@zonbonzovi Thank you so much for the additional information!!! :D
Very nice, love the look of these guys, oh I can hardly wait until next week!! :D

That's not good, hope they settle down soon, could just be residual stress from shipping. Hopefully the pine shavings help, makes me want to go see if there is any well decayed pine needles in the pine trees on the bike trail in my neighborhood...
Don't know if boiling the shavings would extract the potentially harmful resins, however I think it would be worth trying. Plus who knows what sort of mites and stuff may be present in those shavings, don't know if they sterilize that stuff well.
 

ErinM31

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Very nice, love the look of these guys, oh I can hardly wait until next week!! :D

That's not good, hope they settle down soon, could just be residual stress from shipping. Hopefully the pine shavings help, makes me want to go see if there is any well decayed pine needles in the pine trees on the bike trail in my neighborhood...
Don't know if boiling the shavings would extract the potentially harmful resins, however I think it would be worth trying. Plus who knows what sort of mites and stuff may be present in those shavings, don't know if they sterilize that stuff well.
I think it would be worthwhile to gather some well-decayed pine wood/needles/general debris so long as you're confident that pesticides aren't sprayed there.

That's a good point about the shavings! I'll keep everyone updated and if the millipedes like them, I'll send you some ponderosa shavings with everything else next week, @Hisserdude
Am I an awesome beta tester or what? ;)
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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I think it would be worthwhile to gather some well-decayed pine wood/needles/general debris so long as you're confident that pesticides aren't sprayed there.

That's a good point about the shavings! I'll keep everyone updated and if the millipedes like them, I'll send you some ponderosa shavings with everything else next week, @Hisserdude
Am I an awesome beta tester or what? ;)
I'll look around, I'm not sure if they use pesticides, however there are usually a fair amount of bugs on the path so I don't think they do. Hopefully the pine trees receive enough water to get some decomposition action going on, otherwise it's all gonna be just dry pine needles.

Thanks Erin, and yes, you are a great beta tester! :D Hopefully the millipedes do well for you!
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
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Just read through this conversation. Fun to see them through the eyes of others! Just wanted to share a couple other quick observations. I did see some glowing faintly during the day, though in a very dark room. And just now, at about midnight, I took them into a dark room again. It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness enough to see them. I thought my eyes were tripping out for a moment, but the millipedes were distinctly blinking like Xmas lights. On, off, on, off--in this particular group container.

Before this I had only noticed them switched "on", but come to think of it there were times when it didn't look like all of them were glowing. So, I guess it's presupposed and somewhat obvious that they can turn it both on and off. Surprising to me to see them flipping the switch quickly enough for it to be described as "blinking"! It almost seemed like there was a pattern to the group of them blinking, but likely that was just my dim, human brain trying to make sense of glow in the dark millipedes.
 

BobBarley

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Sep 16, 2015
Messages
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Just read through this conversation. Fun to see them through the eyes of others! Just wanted to share a couple other quick observations. I did see some glowing faintly during the day, though in a very dark room. And just now, at about midnight, I took them into a dark room again. It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness enough to see them. I thought my eyes were tripping out for a moment, but the millipedes were distinctly blinking like Xmas lights. On, off, on, off--in this particular group container.

Before this I had only noticed them switched "on", but come to think of it there were times when it didn't look like all of them were glowing. So, I guess it's presupposed and somewhat obvious that they can turn it both on and off. Surprising to me to see them flipping the switch quickly enough for it to be described as "blinking"! It almost seemed like there was a pattern to the group of them blinking, but likely that was just my dim, human brain trying to make sense of glow in the dark millipedes.
Man, I have to get some of these...
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Messages
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Just read through this conversation. Fun to see them through the eyes of others! Just wanted to share a couple other quick observations. I did see some glowing faintly during the day, though in a very dark room. And just now, at about midnight, I took them into a dark room again. It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness enough to see them. I thought my eyes were tripping out for a moment, but the millipedes were distinctly blinking like Xmas lights. On, off, on, off--in this particular group container.

Before this I had only noticed them switched "on", but come to think of it there were times when it didn't look like all of them were glowing. So, I guess it's presupposed and somewhat obvious that they can turn it both on and off. Surprising to me to see them flipping the switch quickly enough for it to be described as "blinking"! It almost seemed like there was a pattern to the group of them blinking, but likely that was just my dim, human brain trying to make sense of glow in the dark millipedes.
Very interesting, both the papers I read said that they had no apparent control of their luminescence, and couldn't turn it "off". However, they did note that their light dimmed considerably when their metabolic rate was slowed.
Then again, the ones studied were M.sequoiae, and these are likely M.tiemanni, so perhaps the way their luminescence works is different?
Would be very cool if you could catch their blinking behavior on video, it could be a very significant discovery! :)
 
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