Centipedes in Newport News, Virginia!

rknralf

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Hi all,
Got a question:
While clearing out an old wood pile in my backyard, I caught 6 centipedes. They are reddish brown and about 2 inches long. I live in Newport News, Virginia.
I was wondering if anyone had any information on species and care for them. These are my first centipedes and I am really enjoying them. I put in 2 small crickets with each and have some of the bark from the wood for them to hide under. I am using Peat Moss for the substrate.
Any info would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Ralph
 

MrDeranged

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Probably Lithobius forficatus. Common stone centipede. Do they look like this?



Scott
 

rknralf

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Scott,
Yes they do!
I think that is a match.
I hoping to see mine eat the crickets I put in, but as of this morning they hadn't eaten them.
Is the care for them similar to tarantulas? These are my first centipedes and I want them to do well.
I've got them on moist peat moss with a bark retreat. No water dish, as I was hoping to keep them hydrated through misting/food. Please let me know if this is correct.
Thanks!
Ralph
 

Mister Internet

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They're not really the active hunters that the scolopendra and others are... they are pretty reclusive and tend to stay out of bright light avoid disturbance. You should give them burrowable substrate(which you've done) or a hide. I always crush the crix I throw in for mine, seems they're decimated by morning. I've seen them tackle live pinheads, but they are more of a scavenger species, it seems to me..
 

MrDeranged

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My experience with them is the same as Tom's. I've seen it take the occasional live pinhead, but most of the time, it runs away from them. Much better luck with crushing the head of the cricket first. Other than that, your setup sounds fine....

Scott
 

rknralf

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Well I have good news and bad news.
First the bad news:
When I got home from work I checked on the centipedes and found 1 dead. This was the one that got injured during capture. a few of the legs on the one side were crushed and it didn't make it.
Now the good news:
2 of the 5 ate one of the crickets. I cruched several small ones and placed at least one crushed one in each of the 5 enclosures. Hopefully they will all eat tonight in the dark.
These are very different than what I am used to with tarantulas. They hide all the time. I had to lift up the pieces of bark to catch a glimpse of the remaining 5.
On the cool side however, they remind me of miniature Chinese dragons! It is cool when they get excited and race around the inside perimeter of the enclosure.
Maybe I'll try and get a larger species, although they scare me a little knowing how bad their bite can be.
Is there any type of appreciable size where the bite if not so nasty? Maybe that would be a good starter?
 

rknralf

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Excellent news!
All 5 centipedes ate their crushed crickets!
I checked first thing this morning and all were gone.
Thanks for all your help!
Ralph
 

Wade

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Ralph-

A good starter Scolependra is S. polymorpha...resonably large (typically 3-6 inches) but not so big that they're hard to wrangle. Also, the bite is apparently fairly mild compared to the bigger ones...I was bitten once (see bite report forum) and Darrin (of Golden Phoenix fame) apparently gets bit often in the course of collecting them without any problems.

Annother possibility for you is Hemiscolopendra marginata, known in the trade as "Florida blue centipede" but it occurs as for north as Virginia. They've been found in the Richmond area, so I suspect you probably have them im your area as well. I'd look in foresty areas where there's a lot of dead hardwood logs you can roll over. They get to about 3" and are a bluish-green color with a pinkish color on the borders.

Wade
 

rknralf

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Wade,
Thanks for the information! The one you mention might be a really good starter, and I would love to get a couple of the Florida Blue centipedes as well!
I remember a post from some time back regarding the Richmond herp society (I think?).
Do you think I could get some information on that group?
Also, do they ever get together for field collection of insects and spiders? I would love to get out and actually hunt for some of the cooler ones.
Ralph
 

Wade

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Ralph-

You can check out our website at www.americanlizards.com (it needs to be updated...)

We usually try to go on 1 or 2 field trips a year, generally in the spring and summer.

If you use the private message function and send me your mailing address, I can send you some info, like a current newsletter.


Wade
 

thedude

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pretty easy ive taken care of a few... slightly damp conditions, no heat lamps, make sure there not in derect sun light, and maybe 2-3 crickets once a week
 

pandinus

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holy crap! you brought this back from the dead didnt you? ;)
 
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