first millipede

GeckoGuy01

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
1
Hey guys im pretty new to the forum and currently dont have any inverts to my name. I have a little bit of an arachnophobia (hope to get over it soon) but I am very interested in millipedes. I have an 18 quart sterilite plastic bin with a lockable cover. is this a suitable conatiner for a larger millipede species? Also I was browsing on Ken the Bug Guy's website and I saw a few species I think that are worth looking into. First of all the Ocala, I tried to find more info on it but I really couldnt and as far as I could see he did not list any scientific names for that particular pede. I personally like the colors of it though but have never kept a millipede before so I would not really know much except 3-4 inches of potting soil and feeding them vegetables and an occasional source of protein. and i dont even know if half of that stuff is right. anyways I am also interested in the O. ornatus. I have heard a little bit about these but I could not find a care sheet specific to the species and I've heard that this forum could help me out. ive also heard that the o. ornatus does not emit any toxic substances when startled or defensive, theirs is just a dye right?? Also i was wondering how big both of these get and how handleable they are. also i just need some basic care info on millipedes in general. If anyone can help me that would be great
 

Fyreflye

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
271
Heya GeckoGuy- welcome to the forums! While there is not as big a following for millipedes as there is for tarantulas (or even centipedes!), there are many members here who are knowledgeable about the various species and their care.

Most millipedes have the same basic needs for their home: the length of the enclosure should be at least twice as long as the pede. Floor space is more important than the depth of the substrate, but you'll want to give them room to burrow. I'm not sure what the measurements on an 18-qt bin would be, but that is probably more than enough room. I've heard of people using sterilite plastic containers for millipedes before, and i think they've worked just fine.

As for your substrate (soil), you will likely get a different answer on what the BEST type to use is depending on who you ask. You basically want a soil that is clean and free of any pesticides or parasites.

Feeding is fairly simple- random mixed vegetables (mine LOVE cucumber), some protein (i've heard of people using dog food, egg shells, hermit crap diet and melon rinds, among others), and many (if not all?) pedes require leaf compost (leaves and bark from trees like oak).

As far as being toxic, it's a defense thing, and i'm not familiar with how it differs in the various species. I handle my pedes occasionally, and i've never had any of them secrete on me. The most they'll do is curl up momentarily when i first pick them up. I think all the commonly-kept millipede species can be handled very easily as long as you are gentle and try not to frighten them.

This is just some BASIC information to get you started- there is a lot to be learned! Once you decide on what species you want, you can find specific info on their care. In the meantime, make good use of the SEARCH option on these forums. You can use keywords like 'ocala,' 'ornatus,' 'millipede care,' etc. It would help to use the advanced search option and choose threads in this section, Myriapods. Also, there are some good books out there about the care and keep of giant millipedes. If you find that pedes are something you really enjoy, i'd recommend getting one. :D
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,335
While there is not as big a following for millipedes as there is for tarantulas (or even centipedes!), there are many members here who are knowledgeable about the various species and their care.
It seems like the millipede hobby is small but I'll bet you most vendors would admit they sell millipedes to at least ten times as many customers as centipedes.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
8,328
It seems like the millipede hobby is small but I'll bet you most vendors would admit they sell millipedes to at least ten times as many customers as centipedes.
at least. when i help vendors out at shows we rarely sell any centipedes... but the $5-10 millipedes go like hot cakes. and i am a hell of a salesman for centipedes =P
 

Fyreflye

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
271
It seems like the millipede hobby is small but I'll bet you most vendors would admit they sell millipedes to at least ten times as many customers as centipedes.
I am pleasantly surprised! :D It must be that millipedes just get talked about less because they're easy to care for and have fewer issues?
 
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