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Changes in the pede hobby

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Staehilomyces, Aug 19, 2018.

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    I think it's fair to say that the centipede hobby has come a very long way. Sometimes, I like to read the older threads on the boards, and every time, I think about how different it is now; our attitudes towards these creatures, the species available, and the prevalence of captive breeding efforts.

    So, what are your thoughts? What do you think today's centipede hobby is when compared to what it was even a couple years ago?
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  2. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    I’ve kept centipedes as far back as 10 years ago, but never participated in the hobby until last year. I think socialization has been a very large change. I also think that there is more certainty with the care.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince

    A lot more species available for sure. More information available as well.
  4. Oh yeah, centipede socialization was certainly a big advance.
    Another one might be the concept of beginner pedes. It used to be common advice that all pedes were equally aggressive across the board, so there were no beginner species, but now we know of several species that are very beginner friendly.
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  5. Rhysandfish

    Rhysandfish Arachnoknight

    I feel like it’s becoming more popular but also mildly annoying to be in. It’s a lot of beginners arguing because experienced keepers don’t talk enough, or just keep secrets in their circles of friends.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnodemon Active Member

    I find even the subcultures on Arachnoboards fascinating.

    Example 1) -- the Scorpion keepers regularly use sand as primary substrate. But if you used sand as a primary sub in a T enclosure for a T from the *same* area you would get ridiculed very quickly.

    Example #2 - I find reading *many* archived posts very few people (at least publicly state) in this Myriapod forum use vermiculite as an additive despite every sub requiring moisture; in the T forum vermiculite as an additive to coco/top soil/peat is almost a given.

    Its difficult to figure out what exactly is an "advance" and progress in keeping a particular invert and what is simply the flavour of the day that gets repeated over and over.... Example -- I have *no idea* why people use coco over peat in a humid enclosure other than a lighter, nice colour. Peat is (literally) dirt cheap, light as air, does not mold as easily, is readily available (at least here) in enormous bales and requires no preparation. Yet coco is the thing to pick for T keepers. Yet go on forums 10-12 years ago (especially in the UK) and *everyone* was using vermiculite as a primary sub.

    I noted one the other day on here -- everybody was using RUBS/tubs on here a decade ago or more until there were a *rash* of centipede escapes. Then everybody went to jars. Now it has swung back the other way and the jar keepers are seen as inferior by RUB keepers.

    Not making any real discussion points here, just find the whole thing fascinating....you have to read, read, read, read, and read more, experiment with what works for you, and go your own way with inverts. Forums provide ideas and you have to cherry-pick the knowledge from a LOT of noise.
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  7. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have been a centipede breeder, keeper, and hobbyist for about twenty-five years. I think the biggest difference is there are more people and more opinions. The greater number of people also means the most spectacular species are out of my price range. Another change is it seems like more people keep them as trophies so the relative number of captive breeding efforts are down.
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  8. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    Ah ah ah, true :)

    But the reason is that, majority of Scorpions species, comes from desertic areas (North Africa, Sudan, U.S desertic areas, Israel and the Middle East etc)

    Personally? Nothing relevant changed, numbers talking. While T's ones, seriously, skyrocketed.

    Granted, here we have valid and valid 'pede keepers (you being one) but I don't see the numbers.

    Think about this: basically almost every user here has a Theraphosidae (let's not consider how many in the collection, nor if NW/OW etc) but very few users, mere numbers talking, own both T's and 'pedes.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  9. I can certainly see the truth in that.

    Personally, I see it as a duty of mine to try breeding rarely collected forms/species when I obtain them. Admittedly, I haven't had success yet, but I'm sure my luck will change someday.
  10. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    The biggest single change is probably the social media centipede groups. They require no effort or investment to start or maintain which is amazing since sites like roachforum and arachnoboards probably cost the owner hundreds a month. I'm curious when they'll start charging for all the bandwidth, free boards in the past only stayed free for so long. The new boards are good unless they knock out the old sites and then disappear when the piper calls.
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  11. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnodemon Active Member

    Do you have some good recommendations for centipede forums? Preferably not on FB, but it there's a great FB one I'd take a look at it...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    Just type centipede in search on FB. I see posts from friends on a few but I'm not a huge fan of the format. Nevertheless, anyone can post as many photos as they want.
  13. AnimalNewbie

    AnimalNewbie Arachnobaron

    What is FB?
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  14. beetleman

    beetleman Arachnoking Old Timer

    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. patrick nimbs

    patrick nimbs Arachnosquire Active Member

    Yes the fact that many people are starting to appreciate these creatures and are getting more popular each year though
  16. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnobaron

    I got my first centipede in 1998/9. Kept some for the nest 3-4 years, then took around a ten year break before coming back.

    Here's what I see (some of it is UK-centric, so may not match what was going on in US or elsewhere):

    Positioning within the invert hobby:

    Centipedes started off as a hardcore addition to people's tarantula collections. I.e. some of the people who already had a lot of tarantulas, would likely also have some scorpions, and the mad ones amongst them even had a giant centipede :jawdrop:

    Now you have people who only keep centipedes, although most will still have got there via tarantula keeping, that's not always the case.


    We were told T's need to be kept humid, particularly around moulting times, and that the same applied to centipedes. We now know this is not correct for many species, and indeed many seem to fare worse for being kept too damp. We also know some species can't handle too much heat, and will actually die from it.


    Handling centipedes was a complete no-no. And I don't mean frowned upon, I mean that the majority of people believed it simply could not be done without getting bitten. Most reports, even those with a photo attached, were explained away as "it's probably been de-fanged" or "bet he got bitten 20 seconds after the photo was taken" etc...

    Now we not only know that it is possible, but there is a full-blown centipede handling sub-hobby. And of course, this has driven a wedge into the hobby with some being pro and some against handling, and many in the middle who don't care what you do but are tired of the debate.


    This has changed dramatically due to two things:
    1. The greater spread of people who keep centipedes
    2. The rise of social media
    The rise of social media has changed the hobby in the same way it has changed every other hobby, so there's not too much to say here that is specific to centipedes. The spread of people who keep centipedes is interesting however. You really had to be a weirdo to keep a centipede back in the day, and it was mostly only done by people passionate enough to not care about that label.

    Nowadays it's more OK to be weird and quirky and to do your own thing. Whatever your hobby/passion/fetish you can find 50 people who already do it on Instagram with 100's of followers each and all you need to do is upload similar content and hey presto you got social validation and don't feel like a total weirdo.

    One thing I don't like is self-proclaimed "experts" - there seem to be a few out there and they all inevitably get ridiculed. Don't call yourself an expert, pede whisperer, or "pede master", it just makes you look stupid, and the last one might land you in jail (yes, someone did have that as the Facebook name for a while :banghead:)


    We know a lot more now than we did before, on a whole range of subjects such as taxonomy, or things like the relative venom potency of different species. E.g. we knew S.subspinipes (now all most likely dehaani) were bad but mostly had no clue about the rest - because no one really got bit, because no one really handled.


    Availability has gone from random species that were thrown in with larger exports to a situation where in Europe about a dozen varieties are steadily available, and about another dozen are more sparsely seen but still obtainable.

    That sounds like a big leap, but if you count it up its actually really not that much, and to make matters worse, many species have all but dropped off the radar. Right now count on your hands the number of species you could get hold of within a week, and then count the number of species you wish you could get hold of - regardless of where you currently live - it's not great stats.

    The future:

    I like that the centipede hobby has not quite descended into the brawling mass that the reptile and tarantula hobbies become at times, and would like it to stay that way. Yes the human ego shows its ugly head now and again but on the most part it's pretty mild compared to other hobbies.

    I obviously would like to see a lot more captive breeding, which we have not been doing enough of, and is the reason so many species are unobtainable. It actually takes a concerted effort, and wise decisions to ensure a bloodline. It took 1000s of euros and 100s of hours over a number of years, mostly from just one guy, to rescue the harwickei population in Europe, and we're still not home and dry yet.

    So if you know of a matching pair in two different hands, please push the owners to breed. We cannot afford to rely on imports, or to leave the last remaining specimens of certain species un-mated.

    Find them, connect them, breed them!
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