First time Handeling A.Gigas

Mallard

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
176
I handeled My Millipede(5") for the first time today. Took about 10min to get control of my instinct to to flinch and flick it away. Specially when it started to nibble on my thumb. I was amazed how graceful they really are. When I went to return it to its encloser it rapped around my finger and held on real tight. Is that a normal thing for millepeds?
Jason
 

spydrhunter1

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
641
Congratulations! AGBs are truly amazing animals, the only one of mine that lets me hold her is Big Mama (10 inches). It's quite normal for them to wrap around your thumb, I guess to keep from falling.
 

sidguppy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
46
it's just a love nibble. you're lucky!

if they don't like to be handled, be prepared to get incredably dirty, they can and do excrete a load of sh!te on your hands. it's very very gross, stinks like anything and it's runny and drippy :evil:
I have a breeding group: 2 adult males, 4 adult females of wich the biggest is almost 1 foot and 5 or 6 juvies ranging from 2-3.5".
some are very docile, uncurl when handled and crawl right over your arm. some are fanatical poopers who can't resist the urge to unload their intestines on me: unfortunately the big one's one of those. hence: no nice pictures of that one on my hand. she's way too much into dirt-games :p
a few are simply too shy or too scared. once I pick em up they curl up and no amount of waiting will get them uncurled.

this is quite odd: you expect different cxharaters when comparing, say, 8 cats or dogs. well, my experience learned me that a group of milli's have quite different "personalities" too, wich I sure didn't know when I kept my first -solo- milli.


once I had to "de-mite" a few (those commensal mites got a bit out of hand) and catching the mites with a paintbrush for 10 minutes per milli was quite enough to get them into full defense mode {D

full defense mode means: let the toxic sweat poisoning begin!
the skin of my hands was brown for a week......
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
Congratulation on your first handling! That's always the most exciting.

The toxic sweat that sidguppy mentioned is a form of benzoquinone, a powerful oxidizer that some millipedes secrete as a defensive measure when they feel threatened. Also, as sidguppy mentioned, different millipedes have different personalities. My late female, Gruselig, would usually get defensive and secrete with little or no provocation. My male, Joey, however, is quite social and has never once secreted on me. (I've only had one defecate on me on one occasion.)

The death grip you experienced may have been because the millipede felt nervous and knew it was safe as long as it didn't fall. Leave it alone for a few minutes and they should uncurl and crawl off without a problem.

If it's nibbling on your thumb, I suggest adding some protien to its diet. Cacoseraph (ever the inquisitive mind) allowed his to continue nibbling until it managed to break the skin after about 15 minutes. Someone on here (Snipes, I believe) found that nibbling millipedes are likely to accept carrion food items. Both of us have successfully fed our millipedes frozen / thawed pinky mice when they nibbled us.

Hermit crab pellets and dog food are also suitable protien-enrichers if you'd rather not deal with the potential mess of a pinky.

Have fun with your buddy! :)
 

emperor

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
24
i hadn't realised they needed protein on occasion...perhaps i should let them nibble on me til i can get them some dog food;)

that being said, i've handled each of my millis, but the first i got is the least likely to squirt defensive fluids... the three monsters i got at the British Tarantula Society convention all are really quick to secrete, but they're ok once they get used to the idea of walking on me. but they nibble, and the other two don't.
they definitely have different personalities!
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
I hadn't realized that either, until they made a pinky disappear in 48 hours! :eek: Luckily, mine love the hermit crab pellets that my hermit crab hates.
 

Mallard

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
176
I tried placing a few hermit crab pellets in its encloser and they all disappeared over night. I also didnt realize they need little added protien in theie diet.
Thaks Jason
 

RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
994
Interesting about the protein and good to know! My guys get a ton of leaves, wood, fruits, veggies, and greens, but I've never tried protein items. I think I'll soak some carnivore pellets for them tonight - thanks!
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
Even with the weak mouthparts, they don't need 'em soaked. The hermy pellets are pretty hard but the 'pedes don't seem to have a problem with them.
 

ScienceDvia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
30
gloves

I'm a science teacher and I always make my students handle the millipedes with nitrile or non powdered latex gloves. It keeps the kids safe from the excretions and the diplopods safe from the human hand oils.

I uncoil my A. Gigas just enoug to curl around the palm of my hand and then, while I am talking about him, about 5 minutes or so, he gets brave and comes out of his coil. Then its hard to put him away. He's not terribly shy!

He's getting more used to being handled, though at first he unloaded everything he had a few times on me!:eek: Although, when done for the day, he burrows and wants nothing to do with me.

ScienceDiva
 
Last edited:

wicked

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
385
I leave a chunk of cuttle bone for my millis to gnaw on, they also are rather fond of peanut butter, hermit crab cookies, pellets, fish food, and melon.
My daughter loves to handle ours.


A wriggly handful of babies are fun too, but quick to excrete. Most of ours are pretty friendly.
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
Wicked, that's adorable! Lori thinks so, too.

"Aww" of the day. :eek:
 

july_74

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
17
Handling AGBs

I am new to posting here but I have quite a colony of AGBs in a 55 gal. tank turned terrarium. All sizes are happily living together. I have a question and an observation to share. I was reading in this thread about the Millipedes needing protein in their diet. Well the question and the observation is this. Has anyone here seen their AGBs consuming dead members of the colony? I have seen this on a couple of occasions over the past few years. I have had this colony and most of the adults for about 7 years. Some of the previous 200 babies I had before I sold and had 13 Millipedes left. The three adult females and 7 juveniles and 2 males from a store. Those have grown and birthed to the present colony. The giant queen mom I had for five years passed away several months ago. I take very good care of them. It is not often that I have dead Millipedes lying around. They do die. But it is more of natural selection than it is something I am doing or not doing. I just am wondering if anyone else has witnessed this. I know that after the Millipedes molt that they will eat their molted exo-skeleton. If this is a result of a lack of protein then I will follow the suggestions here for Hermit crab pellets etc. Thank you for your assistance.
 

wicked

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
385
Thanks Iheartmantids and Lori :)

July- I have had an older adult pass away and the babies ate the insides. Millipedes are pretty much little garbage disposals, they will eat just about anything dead. I have been told they also chow down on canned crickets. Mine love fish food flakes above all other things.

Mallard- Several of my millis will wrap and hold onto my hand when I try to put them back in the tank. My tank is pretty tall so I always assumed it was just a reflex that they held on so they didn't fall when I lowered my hand in the tank, and would relax and climb off once they realized they were on solid ground. But I have one that just doesn't seem to want to let go, I have had times when she has clung to me for a good five or ten minutes before letting go and moving off.
 

wonderwes

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
106
nibble

ok ill admit i am a huge noob when it comes to pedes i have no clue about them but thats why i am here to change that. when u say nibble do u mean she like bit u of what i know there not poisionus and would rather shit on u but who wouldnt lol jp
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
"Nibble" usually means they scrape their mouthparts on your skin trying to get some protein.

And millipedes are poisonous -- just not venomous. ;)
 

wonderwes

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
106
ah yeah like their craps like hydrogen cyanide i think well for the ones around here it is
 

ScienceDvia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
30
Wicked's Poster child

:worship:

A wriggly handful of babies .............

The poster child for A. Gigas! I love it!

ScienceDiva
 
Top