Epibolus pulchripes (Kenyan Giant Red Legged Millipede)

SDCPs

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
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659
Thanks for the tip but I tried that and the ones I moved all died. This species care is very strange and I do not have it completely figured out yet. Orin states that the juveniles are very sensitive and prone to die off. He says they need a lot of rotting wood which I have provided but I am still seeing some die off. Not as much as before (I hope) but they are still dying on me. :(
Hmm. When I had the parents of your babies as juveniles they were very hardy. Strange.

I sold them to BIC because I almost got out of millipedes completely...glad I didn't do that :)
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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Hmm. When I had the parents of your babies as juveniles they were very hardy. Strange.

I sold them to BIC because I almost got out of millipedes completely...glad I didn't do that :)
How long did you have them for?
 

mmfh

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
345
I so want some of these. With that many babies laid there r bound to be die offs but I hope u r successful in keeping them alive.
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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I think it was 3/4 of a year.
What size where they? I am wondering if yours were bigger than the ones I am seeing die. If they were the same size, can you provide me with a few details about the enclosure you had them in?

---------- Post added 10-22-2014 at 03:16 PM ----------

I so want some of these. With that many babies laid there r bound to be die offs but I hope u r successful in keeping them alive.
They are the cutest baby millipedes I have ever seen. Little red faces...lol. Good point. I have not dug into the substrate. Maybe I am just seeing 10-20% of the total number of babies in the enclosure. Maybe just a few have died in comparison to the total number in the enclosure. I have no idea how many I have.
 

SDCPs

Arachnolord
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Messages
659
They were probably about 1-1.5" long, so probably bigger. I kept them in substrate of compost then leaves on top as per Orin, but there was lots of ventilation and things were just moist. I never saw them on the surface really, they were always burrowing somewhere.

I highly suggest moving some out, I truly believe that its better to keep millipedes dry than wet, and that its good to have a relatively fresh enclosure. Also, some millipedes that I've moved to different enclosures were already doomed to die, but all of my moves have stayed population die-offs in flamelegs. After a week or two so there were no more die-offs and the health of all the animals improved. I've never had a bad experience to moving to a fresh enclosure...nowadays the only old substrate I add is what falls off the millipedes when I move them...no problems--well let me clarify that usually there's a cup or two of old substrate because when collecting several hundred young you're bound to get a little each time.

But of course this is my experience and with flamelegs at that. You are experienced. Do what you think is best.
 
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MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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They were probably about 1-1.5" long, so probably bigger. I kept them in substrate of compost then leaves on top as per Orin, but there was lots of ventilation and things were just moist. I never saw them on the surface really, they were always burrowing somewhere.

I highly suggest moving some out, I truly believe that its better to keep millipedes dry than wet, and that its good to have a relatively fresh enclosure. Also, some millipedes that I've moved to different enclosures were already doomed to die, but all of my moves have stayed population die-offs in flamelegs. After a week or two so there were no more die-offs and the health of all the animals improved. I've never had a bad experience to moving to a fresh enclosure...nowadays the only old substrate I add is what falls off the millipedes when I move them...no problems--well let me clarify that usually there's a cup or two of old substrate because when collecting several hundred young you're bound to get a little each time.

But of course this is my experience and with flamelegs at that. You are experienced. Do what you think is best.
Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it. I like your ideas but have a question about the dry enclosure. I must be missing something. How do you keep the decomposition of leaves and wood going when the enclosure is dry, the substrate surface is dry, the leaves are dry and the wood is dry? I know the underlying substrate is moist. If I place dry dead decaying wood and dry dead decaying leaves on a dry surface substrate, the decomposition process is greatly slowed down and the millipedes are not able to utilize these food materials. When decomposition is stopped the amount of fungi and bacteria on these materials is greatly reduced. These organisms decompose the material and make the nutrients of these materials available to the millipede. The millipede also gains a large nutrient load from consuming these beneficial fungi and bacteria.
 

SDCPs

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
Messages
659
Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it. I like your ideas but have a question about the dry enclosure. I must be missing something. How do you keep the decomposition of leaves and wood going when the enclosure is dry, the substrate surface is dry, the leaves are dry and the wood is dry? I know the underlying substrate is moist. If I place dry dead decaying wood and dry dead decaying leaves on a dry surface substrate, the decomposition process is greatly slowed down and the millipedes are not able to utilize these food materials. When decomposition is stopped the amount of fungi and bacteria on these materials is greatly reduced. These organisms decompose the material and make the nutrients of these materials available to the millipede. The millipede also gains a large nutrient load from consuming these beneficial fungi and bacteria.
First off, if you follow Orin's advice you have a layer of mostly coir followed by a few inches of leaves most likely. Yeah, those top leaves will never decompose. And to make them do that you have to have the actual substrate wetter than it should be (IMHO).

What I do is add coir, leaves, sand...then mix them up to a uniform mixture. About half coir. Less sand than leaves obviously. Then I add an additional layer of leaves on top if I want to. These leaves will pretty much be dry. And the millipedes will eat them dry. They're mostly to provide cover.

Fungus easily grows on the leaves buried in the substrate and the millipedes eat it readily.

I am also starting to keep the substrate under 4", more about 3" + leaves. Not having too much depth (and having sand and leaves mixed in) allows fresh air to permeate the substrate so it doesn't stagnate so much. In fact, I've been using bamboo leaves (which don't decay that much although mold grows on them) which significantly aerate the mixture.

When I mean dry, and the surface of the substrate dry, I mean that's when you add water. But you let it get to the point where the layer just under the leaves is starting to dry out. The rest of the substrate will still be moist. This is to ensure that the substrate is not too moist. So things will be a bit cyclical but that's probably good.

I don't mist. Waste of time. I don't really add wood anymore because for all the millipedes I keep its not needed and its pretty rich. I like my substrate to be leaner.
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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First off, if you follow Orin's advice you have a layer of mostly coir followed by a few inches of leaves most likely. Yeah, those top leaves will never decompose. And to make them do that you have to have the actual substrate wetter than it should be (IMHO).

What I do is add coir, leaves, sand...then mix them up to a uniform mixture. About half coir. Less sand than leaves obviously. Then I add an additional layer of leaves on top if I want to. These leaves will pretty much be dry. And the millipedes will eat them dry. They're mostly to provide cover.

Fungus easily grows on the leaves buried in the substrate and the millipedes eat it readily.

I am also starting to keep the substrate under 4", more about 3" + leaves. Not having too much depth (and having sand and leaves mixed in) allows fresh air to permeate the substrate so it doesn't stagnate so much. In fact, I've been using bamboo leaves (which don't decay that much although mold grows on them) which significantly aerate the mixture.

When I mean dry, and the surface of the substrate dry, I mean that's when you add water. But you let it get to the point where the layer just under the leaves is starting to dry out. The rest of the substrate will still be moist. This is to ensure that the substrate is not too moist. So things will be a bit cyclical but that's probably good.

I don't mist. Waste of time. I don't really add wood anymore because for all the millipedes I keep its not needed and its pretty rich. I like my substrate to be leaner.
OK. I understand... I think. :) So you are frequently adding crunched dead leaves to the moist substrate as the millipedes eat them from within the substrate (not on top). Correct? :)

Can you add a few pics of your enclosure so we can see what you are talking about? :)
 
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SDCPs

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
Messages
659
OK. I understand... I think. :) So you are frequently adding crunched dead leaves to the moist substrate as the millipedes eat them from within the substrate (not on top). Correct? :)

Can you add a few pics of your enclosure so we can see what you are talking about? :)
Yes, like I said I mix leaves in with the substrate. Then I may add an additional surface layer. of 0.5-2 inches. But I expect them to mainly eat those in the substrate and the substrate itself...lets just say that they eat everything except the sand and, hopefully, their feces.

I will try to honor your photo request, but it might not be immediate.
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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UPDATE: I saw two 2 inch juveniles today in my first main enclosure. All of the other enclosures now have .75 to 1 inch juveniles in them. They are getting bigger. :)

An interesting note is that my main enclosure was smaller...maybe too small. This is where I witnessed the death of many of the babies.I do not believe I am having the die off of the babies in the larger enclosures.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
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My suggestion for this species is a primarily rotten wood diet (you can find it written in the book, I have no idea where SDCP is getting his wet coir and leaves idea from). Did you add the wood after some started dying or before?
 

MrCrackerpants

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My suggestion for this species is a primarily rotten wood diet (you can find it written in the book, I have no idea where SDCP is getting his wet coir and leaves idea from). Did you add the wood after some started dying or before?
There was very little wood and they were dying. I added large amounts of decaying wood to all of the enclosures and they do not seem to be dying now. I read this in your book and it saved the babies. Thanks, Orin! :)
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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UPDATE: I am noticing other juveniles in the substrate besides the 2 inch and the 1 inch ones. Maybe the mature female (I only had one) laid multiple clutches of eggs? Maybe their growth rate is variable? I need to look in Orin's Millipede book to see if he states when this species lays eggs. By all accounts the only mature female I had lays eggs year around. Maybe I did not have as many babies die as I thought. I found two 2.5 juveniles today. I have now moved the female to 4 big enclosures and after she is there for a short time I see babies. I will move her and the only mature male to a new large enclosure next week. I am planning to do this until she and the male die. I love this species.
 

lagomorphette

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
51
Wow--that is so fantastic!! Congrats & keep up the good work; it's always great when you have more than you thought. ;)

If you ever decide to have a special sale for your admirers on this thread, LET ME KNOW!!! LOL! :biggrin::laugh:
 

SDCPs

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
Messages
659
My suggestion for this species is a primarily rotten wood diet (you can find it written in the book, I have no idea where SDCP is getting his wet coir and leaves idea from). Did you add the wood after some started dying or before?
Thanks for the correction :)
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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Wow--that is so fantastic!! Congrats & keep up the good work; it's always great when you have more than you thought. ;)

If you ever decide to have a special sale for your admirers on this thread, LET ME KNOW!!! LOL! :biggrin::laugh:
Thanks! If I can get enough juveniles to sell and still have a few future colonies I will let everyone know on this thread.
 

MrCrackerpants

Arachnoprince
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Have these guys taken any interest in wood shavings?
Great question! :) I do not know. I always put a large amount of aspen shavings in the substrate and on the surface (under the decaying branches and mixed in with the leaves). The shavings are being consumed but I am not sure if this is because fungi in the enclosure are eating them and/or the giant springtails are eating them. I see the giant springtails swarming on all of the decaying wood and I am assuming they are eating the wood too. I still feel that it is worth my time and money to add the shavings.
 
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