Breeding Orthoporus ornatus?

Tytyty

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
11
I am very new to the hobby, but early on I discovered that the captive reproduction of O. ornatus is still largely a mystery. I have seen a few threads where people have bred them but are unsure of the methods and the consensus seems to be that there is no solid method as of yet. I am starting this thread both to see if anyone has found updates on the breeding process of this species and to share what I have discovered so far.

I believe that my most important find so far is the Proceedings of the First Conference on Scientific Research in the National Parks, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 9-12, 1976 Volume 1. In this collection, there is an article called "A Year in the Life of Orthoporus ornatus: a Desert Millipede". Here it states that seasonal rains initiate the feeding season of the millipedes. During this time, eggs mature in females and are oviposited in "Chambers, frequently associated with animal burrows" contain maternal fecal pellets that house eggs and new larva. This leads me to my first idea: providing some kind of underground structure that the millipedes can make use of. This also leads me to my first question: are millipedes known to consume their own feces or the feces of other members of their species? If so, they could be accidentally consuming the vital casing of the eggs needed for the young.

The article also suggests that eggs deposited during the feeding season are destined to emerge in the next season's rains as eggs collected before the rains and placed on wet filter paper. This makes me believe that fecal pellets placed in areas that would be ideal should be either collected and placed in a wet environment to simulate rains or they could be moistened in the original enclosure after a dry period.

This article suggests that the rainy/dry seasons of the desert are an important part of regulating Orthoporus behavior and I want to keep that in mind when trying to investigate this problem.

This information is what I have found so far. I would love to hear from the experiences of others on enclosures, breeding, substrate, and humidity, or just any news in the community. I also saw that the user @DubiaW has been selling native substrate, but couldn't pm. Is it still available?

What are your thoughts on O. ornatus breeding? :)


I would also be super interested to hear anything else the community is trying or has heard about!
 

BugLord

Arthropod Rancher
Arachnosupporter
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
178
With enough effort and determination, I feel that you could definitely complete this hard, unknown task. I'm willing to help anyway I can. Feel free to PM me whenever you want. Thank you for compiling and sharing your research and findings.

Dagan H.
 

Tytyty

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
11
With enough effort and determination, I feel that you could definitely complete this hard, unknown task. I'm willing to help anyway I can. Feel free to PM me whenever you want. Thank you for compiling and sharing your research and findings.

Dagan H.
Thanks so much! Do you keep millipedes I would love any tips In general. Also do you know of any closely related species in the hobby?

I'll be sure to update with anything I find :)
 

BugLord

Arthropod Rancher
Arachnosupporter
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
178
Thanks so much! Do you keep millipedes I would love any tips In general. Also do you know of any closely related species in the hobby?

I'll be sure to update with anything I find :)
Anything specific do you want to know?

I own Bumblebee millipedes, scarlet millipedes, and ivory millipedes. I will soon have a colony of thai rainbow millipedes as well as Tanzanian earthworm millipedes. No specific US species related to O. ornatus comes to mind, but if you're interested in native species I highly recommend keeping any of the Narceus species.
 

Tytyty

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
11
Anything specific do you want to know?

I own Bumblebee millipedes, scarlet millipedes, and ivory millipedes. I will soon have a colony of thai rainbow millipedes as well as Tanzanian earthworm millipedes. No specific US species related to O. ornatus comes to mind, but if you're interested in native species I highly recommend keeping any of the Narceus species.
Are there any specific signs that a millipede is becoming too dehydrated? If I am planning to try damp/dry cycles I do not want to accidentally kill any of the millipedes. Also, have millipedes been known to eat other millipede eggs? Do other species ever have trouble breeding with Orthoporus in the same enclosure?

On a general note, do you have any substrate recommendations?
 

BugLord

Arthropod Rancher
Arachnosupporter
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
178
There aren't any signs on the millipede itself of dehydration besides a dead millipede, but the substrate can act as an excellent indicator. The millipedes I keep like room temperature and being moist; my room is at room temperature as well as when I scoop the soil it feels like how it would in the wild (Moist but wont drip when squeezed). O. ornatus do like it more dry, but I'm not too keen on that species. All millipedes can cohabitat and breed (with their own species) perfectly fine together; but all the species that are together must have the same care requirements. So O. ornatus doesn't have many cohabitation matches considering it's difference in needs compared to the other millipedes found in captivity. Millipedes are detrivores and will only eat decomposing matter, completely 100% harmless to you and other millipedes (unless it releases toxins).

It would be best to just keep O. ornatus together and not with other species, since its care requirements are somewhat different than the other, generic care of room temp and moist soil.

Here's a good guide for substrate for general millipede substrate:
But if there are things you cannot find locally, there's always work arounds. Everyone has their own form of basically this recipe, but the hardwood leaves and rotting hardwood is found in every recipe, considering that's needed for the millipede's nutrition.

Here's my recipe:
-leafgro organic compost (no ferts)
-Scott's Premium topsoil (no ferts)
-cocofibre (about 20%)
-oak pellets (soaked and rotting)
-hardwood leaves (mixed in and on top)
-rotten hardwood (mixed in and on top)
-handful of aspen shavings (mixed in)
-handful of sphagnum moss (mixed in and on top)
-crushed egg shell (sprinkled in)

Some of my percentages may not be accurate to my actual substrate considering measuring percentages of mass amount of ingredients for substrate is somewhat difficult; but my millipedes seem active and breeding.

Hope that helps,
Dagan H.
 
Last edited:

Tytyty

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
11
I found another article that may be of interest: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1168&context=dbiome_memo

It says that females deposited eggs in some lab incubators after a simulated dry season during a simulated feeding season. It also details some of the temperature cycling that they used. This is quite an old paper but it may still be helpful and I could perhaps try to contact the university to see if there were any unpublished data that they still have on record.
 

BugLord

Arthropod Rancher
Arachnosupporter
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
178
I found another article that may be of interest: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1168&context=dbiome_memo

It says that females deposited eggs in some lab incubators after a simulated dry season during a simulated feeding season. It also details some of the temperature cycling that they used. This is quite an old paper but it may still be helpful and I could perhaps try to contact the university to see if there were any unpublished data that they still have on record.
I go to a university and conduct some scientific research and for the most part, the data can be obtained publicly! If you send them an email and ask if they have data records/sheets still and tell them how you want to use the data, there's a good chance they'll send the data your way.

Dagan H.
 
Top