Crash course on centipedes

MainMann

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
130
Hello!
So recently I've been a bit captivated by the looks of centipedes. And where I'm from, there are many Scolopendra spp that are found here. So can anyone give me a crash course on how to care for asian centipedes? I've had experience with fast and defensive OW Ts, but frankly i am in the dark with centipede care. All info would be highly appreciated!

Thank you in advance, Maman
 

NYAN

Arachnoking
Active Member
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Dec 23, 2017
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2,363
So can anyone give me a crash course on how to care for asian centipedes?
Get an escape proof enclosure first. This is very important. I like locking plastic tubs with holes drilled in them. The care itself is easy. Give them a few inches of substrate. Most species can be kept moist. Give them stuff to hide under, such as cork bark. Lastly give them a water dish. Drop food in a couple times a month also.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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Dec 4, 2016
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1,740
Prepare to end up caring for several as they are fascinating and highly addictive.
 

MainMann

Arachnosquire
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Feb 25, 2019
Messages
130
Get an escape proof enclosure first. This is very important. I like locking plastic tubs with holes drilled in them. The care itself is easy. Give them a few inches of substrate. Most species can be kept moist. Give them stuff to hide under, such as cork bark. Lastly give them a water dish. Drop food in a couple times a month also.
Ah i see! So care wise, they're pretty similar to say, a Selenocosmia javanensis? Just with less sub, but still Moist sub and lotsa hiding places. Water dish, and feed 3 times a month, sounds good?
 

krbshappy71

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Joined
May 28, 2019
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129
You may not even have to feed that often. I check mine every week to see if he ate the dubia I threw in there last week. He seems to go on a feeding frenzy then chills out for awhile like the tarantulas do.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
422
Here's my 2 minute crash course:
  1. Get an enclosure with tall walls and a secure locking lid with no gaps.
  2. Provide some substrate and a hide, depending on how light the room is. Most of my pedes have only a few cm and don't burrow.
  3. Make sure there is plenty ventilation and the air is not too humid. Most centipedes which die early in captivity die from stagnant conditions. If they want humidity they will go under the hide or dig. This means you need the substrate to not be dry, but not damp either. Even a slight bit of water in the substrate will make a closed tub too humid, which is why you need good cross ventilation.
  4. Feed according to its shape - if the tergites overlap heavily then it's underfed, an overfed centipede is obvious. There's nothing wrong with not feeding for a few weeks some times, and it may even choose to do so itself even if it's not coming up for moult.
  5. If it's a WC adult, there are chances it is female, in which case there are good chances it is mated and may produce a clutch, in which case you must not disturb her at all, and you may be rewarded by many babies.
  6. The easiest way to move a pede or capture a run away is by getting it to walk on a piece of bark or cloth which you pick up with long forceps. Took me ages to figure that out.
Enjoy :-D
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
699
Hello!
So recently I've been a bit captivated by the looks of centipedes. And where I'm from, there are many Scolopendra spp that are found here. So can anyone give me a crash course on how to care for asian centipedes? I've had experience with fast and defensive OW Ts, but frankly i am in the dark with centipede care. All info would be highly appreciated!

Thank you in advance, Maman
My biggest centipede mistake: too moist. Too moist will kill these things. You're in a humid place, so it should be easier to figure out the sweet spot.
 

MainMann

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
130
Here's my 2 minute crash course:
  1. Get an enclosure with tall walls and a secure locking lid with no gaps.
  2. Provide some substrate and a hide, depending on how light the room is. Most of my pedes have only a few cm and don't burrow.
  3. Make sure there is plenty ventilation and the air is not too humid. Most centipedes which die early in captivity die from stagnant conditions. If they want humidity they will go under the hide or dig. This means you need the substrate to not be dry, but not damp either. Even a slight bit of water in the substrate will make a closed tub too humid, which is why you need good cross ventilation.
  4. Feed according to its shape - if the tergites overlap heavily then it's underfed, an overfed centipede is obvious. There's nothing wrong with not feeding for a few weeks some times, and it may even choose to do so itself even if it's not coming up for moult.
  5. If it's a WC adult, there are chances it is female, in which case there are good chances it is mated and may produce a clutch, in which case you must not disturb her at all, and you may be rewarded by many babies.
  6. The easiest way to move a pede or capture a run away is by getting it to walk on a piece of bark or cloth which you pick up with long forceps. Took me ages to figure that out.
Enjoy :-D
My biggest centipede mistake: too moist. Too moist will kill these things. You're in a humid place, so it should be easier to figure out the sweet spot.
Ah i see! Pretty similar to an asian old world i see, and like all Ts, good ventilation is key and stuffy air kills. Thank you soo much! Though i do have a question on how fast are they? How mobile are they? and do i need to cup them during rehousing like i would rehouse a T?
 

krbshappy71

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
129
My dehanni is super fast, but at first he will lay low and play dead hoping you go away. I can change the water, throw in a dubia roach, and add or remove leaf litter if he is in his burrow, but if he is out, forget about it, he is crazy running around the tank hunting, I don't even open the lid. The bite risk isn't worth it. Also, I use tongs to reach in and do that maintenance, not my hands, not even with gloves on.
 

MainMann

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Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
130
My dehanni is super fast, but at first he will lay low and play dead hoping you go away. I can change the water, throw in a dubia roach, and add or remove leaf litter if he is in his burrow, but if he is out, forget about it, he is crazy running around the tank hunting, I don't even open the lid. The bite risk isn't worth it. Also, I use tongs to reach in and do that maintenance, not my hands, not even with gloves on.
Mm hmm! Very much so like my OBT, if he's tucked inside I'm confident doing maintenance with tongs, but if she's outside her burrow she'll rush me lol. But how bout rehousing? How do you do it?
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
699
Mm hmm! Very much so like my OBT, if he's tucked inside I'm confident doing maintenance with tongs, but if she's outside her burrow she'll rush me lol. But how bout rehousing? How do you do it?
I just make sure the old enclosure fits in the new enclosure, put it on its side, let the 'pede come out on its own, then retrieve the old enclosure later. No need to nudge or overthink. I feel like the rash of YouTube videos seems to imply we need to push these animals out of their old homes in a fast fashion, and we don't. Let it come out and explore. Safer for you and the 'pede.
 

krbshappy71

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
129
Mine was about 5" when I got him so I just started him in the "forever enclosure" and I did use StampFan's method of setting its deli cup into the new enclosure and leaving it alone, locked up the new enclosure and walked away, fetched the cup later. Here, I'll admit what a chicken I am, I barely popped the lid of the deli cup and then put on leather gardening gloves to pull the lid open the rest of the way, after setting the cup into the new enclosure. HA! I just really don't want to take any chances with these things but they're so amazing looking I'll probably own more varieties down the road.
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
699
Mine was about 5" when I got him so I just started him in the "forever enclosure" and I did use StampFan's method of setting its deli cup into the new enclosure and leaving it alone, locked up the new enclosure and walked away, fetched the cup later. Here, I'll admit what a chicken I am, I barely popped the lid of the deli cup and then put on leather gardening gloves to pull the lid open the rest of the way, after setting the cup into the new enclosure. HA! I just really don't want to take any chances with these things but they're so amazing looking I'll probably own more varieties down the road.
There is no shame in being cautious and not getting tagged.

There are no hero points for being a cowboy, either.

However you can safely rehouse a species that can harm you is the correct way to do it.
 

MainMann

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
130
I just make sure the old enclosure fits in the new enclosure, put it on its side, let the 'pede come out on its own, then retrieve the old enclosure later. No need to nudge or overthink. I feel like the rash of YouTube videos seems to imply we need to push these animals out of their old homes in a fast fashion, and we don't. Let it come out and explore. Safer for you and the 'pede.
Duly noted!! Thanks dude!!
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
422
Ah i see! Pretty similar to an asian old world i see, and like all Ts, good ventilation is key and stuffy air kills. Thank you soo much! Though i do have a question on how fast are they? How mobile are they? and do i need to cup them during rehousing like i would rehouse a T?
Centipedes are ridiculously fast. The only saving grace is that they cannot climb smooth surfaces like Ts. Depending on the species/age/individual they range from PCP-crazed thrashing hornet-snakes to being calm as Hindu cows. My very recently acquired Peruvian white leg "gigantea" doesn't even move when I push it with tongs. I could, and may well soon, pick it up.

Mm hmm! Very much so like my OBT, if he's tucked inside I'm confident doing maintenance with tongs, but if she's outside her burrow she'll rush me lol. But how bout rehousing? How do you do it?
How best to work with them depends on the size of the container. If it's small enough to fit in a much larger one e.g. a laundry tub, then do that. If the enclosure is tall enough for it not to be able to run up the edges, you can work inside that, and coax it into a smaller container to do any moves. The situation you don't want to end in, which is exactly the situation I was in with my first pede, is a hyper pede in an enclosure too small to prevent it running up and over the edge when the lid is off, but too big to fit inside a larger second container.

Catch cups aren't much use for a pede on the run. Use square or rectangular shaped tubs instead and make sure they are close at hand. Another useful trick is a dish towel with a string tied to a corner: throw the towel in front of the pede holding the string, let it crawl on, lift it in the air and dump it back into its enclosure or in a bucket etc...

I know this all sounds very dramatic. I haven't had to take these precautions for a while because I tend not to keep large dehaani, and the crazy pedes I have are all small enough to work with their containers in a larger tub.
 
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