Climbing centipedes

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
422
So we all know centipedes can climb, in fact my Hardwickei pedelings even seem to scamper up forceps!

I sometimes wonder if we are carrying over a misconception from the tarantula keeping hobby, where species are mostly classified as arboreal or terrestrial. That makes sense for animals which build a hiding place and never venture too far away from it. In fact many species display morphological adaptations to one milieu over another such as longer legs and lighter bodies, though many other specimens fall somewhere in between. But centipedes don't build hides, they wander around (I even found the humble Lithobius forficatus which we find in the UK under tree bark a few feet above ground the other day, whereas you usually find them under stones).

Are we missing a trick by thinking that because they burrow, they don't climb? This could be an important dimension in environmental enrichment. Although I wouldn't be surprised to find that some species are exclusively burrowers.

Do any of you actually provide decent climbing material for your pedes?

IMG_20160925_203150.jpg
 

DreamWeaver8

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
Messages
132
I completely agree with what you said. As most keepers of inverts either fall into the realm of tarantulas/spiders or scorpions or both we get used to the idea that these animals fall into set categories such as arboreal, terrestrial, or burrowers and are only one of the three. While i'd say these set categories are true for keeping arachnids centipedes on the other hand are obviously nowhere close to being arachnids but in terms of care and all of that they are treated for the most part the same. They are myriapods with a different evolutionary path, biology, morphology, and physiology so at least in my opinion their care should reflect that and we should not hold onto all the rules and preconceived notions from keeping their fellow arthropod brethren, the arachnids.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
422
Yep, agreed, they are different. Although I think the important bit is the current behaviour, not so much the evolutionary pathway which led to it (not that this isn't highly interesting - it is!) If I find a species of centipede which hunts hanging upside down on bromeliads and never burrows, that's how I'll keep it, rather than assume that it needs to burrow because it is a centipede.

Let's remember that arachnids and myriapods were marine animals originally, making a transition to land after their basic body shape was set (but not the multitude of adaptations to land, and specific environments therein) but has almost no bearing on current behaviour (but cool to learn about, like how a scorpion's pectines were once its gills!)

I think a deeper understanding of how centipedes live in the wild would be good, although animals change behaviour in captivity too. I'm going to try a mix of habitats in some of the cages and see how they respond...
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
Yep, agreed, they are different. Although I think the important bit is the current behaviour, not so much the evolutionary pathway which led to it (not that this isn't highly interesting - it is!) If I find a species of centipede which hunts hanging upside down on bromeliads and never burrows, that's how I'll keep it, rather than assume that it needs to burrow because it is a centipede.

Let's remember that arachnids and myriapods were marine animals originally, making a transition to land after their basic body shape was set (but not the multitude of adaptations to land, and specific environments therein) but has almost no bearing on current behaviour (but cool to learn about, like how a scorpion's pectines were once its gills!)

I think a deeper understanding of how centipedes live in the wild would be good, although animals change behaviour in captivity too. I'm going to try a mix of habitats in some of the cages and see how they respond...
When I set up my enclosure, I wanted to make it a "display enclosure". I want it to be like those naturalistic enclosures everyone has for their dart frogs (without the water). Along with this, I wanted to make a background for the enclosure.

The problem is that I'm torn between giving it 2x the legspan of glass to the top and having a nice looking display.

If they like to climb, perhaps that's a vote towards giving it a taller background?
 

DreamWeaver8

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
Messages
132
Don't give it a background like that because no matter how tall you make it they will be able to climb up and out in no time.
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
Don't give it a background like that because no matter how tall you make it they will be able to climb up and out in no time.
Is there no way to make a lid (with locks) that could prevent them from escaping?

Or is the concern for during maintenance?
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
Is there no way to make a lid (with locks) that could prevent them from escaping?

Or is the concern for during maintenance?
Pretty sure most lids would be able to hold in a pede. The problem is when you go in and it's out and roaming, it could bolt out in a second and that would be a terrible scenario. As long as there is no background, a cool naturalistic enclosure that is decently high would keep the pedes from getting out.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,094
I gave my big centipede a artificial vine to wander around. It used it regularly. Although I don't think it'd be detrimental to them to not provide climbing material.
 

DreamWeaver8

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
Messages
132
Id say it be more for maintenance when the lid IS off, at least I wouldn't want to provide the animal with a wall to climb up and over the enclosure. As for actual climbing structures I don't see a problem with adding something raised in the middle to climb on as long as it doesn't touch the wall of the enclosure if that makes sense. Id also say a locking lid is a must for pedes!
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
422
Climbing material or not, the lid should always be escape proof - you shouldn't rely solely on the centipede not being able to reach it.
It makes sense for the climbing material to be away from the walls of the enclosure to avoid run ups, and a dartfrog-style background will also provide a super quick way out. Although all this depends on how you work with your pedes, and perhaps the individual pedes. There are some I have which I'm not too fussed if they run over the edge as I'll just let them run onto my hand and pop back in, but there's others I wouldn't risk that with.
 
Top