Good centipede for a beginner?

Ratmosphere

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I always was freaked out by centipedes and never thought I would be able to own one. Lately I've been really interested in owning one though. Kinda crazy how that happens. What is the best centipede to own for a person who never owned one before?
 

chanda

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Personally, I'd go with S. polymorpha - at least if you're in the U.S. They are cheap, relatively common, and easy to care for. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to go out and catch your own. They still get some impressive size to them and have a great feeding response - but don't have the potent venom of something like S. subspinipes.
 

Chris LXXIX

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The problem is that there isn't that much of a choice aside S.polymorpha (which is good, eh).

It's not like when it comes for T's where there's plenty to choose by.

Scolopendra cingulata is another that is perfect for a beginner, but it's almost impossible to obtain one in the U.S.

Anyway (despite the venom potency that differs) all centipedes are freaking, and I say freaking, escape masters so a no escape enclosure my man, remember :-s
 

basin79

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Pick one you like the look of and buy it for next you've fully researched the care.

The great thing with pedes is they can't exactly surprise you with random escapes. And by that I mean they're unable to climb a smooth surface. Unlike say a Heteroscodra maculata can.

So with that typed if you get yourself a large plastic enclosure (I happen to believe these are best as thete are no silicone corners for them to climb) that is taller than you pede and substrate combined and any cork bark at the sides etcetera you're fine.

Get yourself some 12" tongs to use inside the enclosure and you're pretty much done.

I'm not dismissing pedes at all. I respect them massively. They're highly unpredictable in their movements and will bite. But follow what I've typed above and you'll have no problems.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Pick one you like the look of and buy it for next you've fully researched the care.

The great thing with pedes is they can't exactly surprise you with random escapes. And by that I mean they're unable to climb a smooth surface. Unlike say a Heteroscodra maculata can.

So with that typed if you get yourself a large plastic enclosure (I happen to believe these are best as thete are no silicone corners for them to climb) that is taller than you pede and substrate combined and any cork bark at the sides etcetera you're fine.

Get yourself some 12" tongs to use inside the enclosure and you're pretty much done.

I'm not dismissing pedes at all. I respect them massively. They're highly unpredictable in their movements and will bite. But follow what I've typed above and you'll have no problems.
Yes, they can't climb smooth surface. This is true, my man, but I've noticed that people rarely mention the fact that, using the air holes drilled/created by us, they can take advantage of those and use said holes for help their "climbing" rapture.

Mines is in a plastic enclosure as well, yet she can climb using those if she wants... ok, 9 out of 10 she falls, but still :-s
 

basin79

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Yes, they can't climb smooth surface. This is true, my man, but I've noticed that people rarely mention the fact that, using the air holes drilled/created by us, they can take advantage of those and use said holes for help their "climbing" rapture.

Mines is in a plastic enclosure as well, yet she can climb using those if she wants... ok, 9 out of 10 she falls, but still :-s
Yes they can and do. But I'd have thought that was commonsense to see that.

But yes maybe a new owner wouldn't think of that so good point.
 

raisinjelly

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I was in the same boat as you, even just looking at pictures of centipedes online gave me the jeebies. They're the only invert to have had that effect on me really. I think it's mainly the combination of the way they move and their venom which can be very potent. But all inverts interest me so I did want to own one at some point anyway, and caring for something really does help to desensitize you.

The species I went with is a Scolopendra viridis. They're smaller than the polymorpha and don't get much over 3 inches IIRC, plus they're a pretty blueish shade and have been easy to care for in my experience. I've never had any troubles with mine and it has to have been 3 years or so now since I've gotten it. I think Ken the Bug Guy has some available on their website.
 

Ratmosphere

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They escape easily? Wow, looks like I'll have to create a secure enclosure. Could a bite from Scolopendra gigantea put you in the hospital?
 

Scoly

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The great thing with pedes is they can't exactly surprise you with random escapes
Seriously man? I had to re-read that to make sure I read it right.

For me, tarantula escapes were always "oh, well d'uh, that's how it got out" but centipede escapes usually start with a few minutes of "WTF happened here?" :D:D:D
 

basin79

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Seriously man? I had to re-read that to make sure I read it right.

For me, tarantula escapes were always "oh, well d'uh, that's how it got out" but centipede escapes usually start with a few minutes of "WTF happened here?" :D:D:D
No. I meant you know I pede can only climb up the tongs or a shallow container (or a siliconed corner) unlike a T that can just run up and out.

A pede is similar to a Sicarius terrosus. They can't magically climb up a vertical surface.
 

Scoly

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They escape easily? Wow, looks like I'll have to create a secure enclosure. Could a bite from Scolopendra gigantea put you in the hospital?
They can't climb SMOOTH surfaces, like glass or plastic, but they can push themselves up against the wall almost their fully stretched out body length (if you read otherwise, don't believe that. I have photos to prove it!) and that can be a little more than you expect. They can also grip onto air holes or other irregularities in the wall, and also push off ornaments (e.g. a piece of bark that may have flipped).

And if they can reach the lid (I always assume they can reach the lid) they will be able to push it up if it isn't secured, so yes, a secure container is a must.

Gigantea bites aren't the worst (and you're not going to find Gigantea anyway as they go for crazy money). Most adult keepers put up with the bites without medical assistance (other than home administered pain killers) but that's not to say it's a laughing matter. Young people should certainly be taken to hospital after a bite from a big pede.
 

Scoly

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No. I meant you know I pede can only climb up the tongs or a shallow container (or a siliconed corner) unlike a T that can just run up and out.

A pede is similar to a Sicarius terrosus. They can't magically climb up a vertical surface.
Funny you should say that, I just watched your Sicarius video on youtube as I was typing that up (latest like on that video will be me) That's something I wouldn't keep!
 

basin79

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Funny you should say that, I just watched your Sicarius video on youtube as I was typing that up (latest like on that video will be me) That's something I wouldn't keep!
They're probably one of the easiest spiders to keep.

They don't have an aggressive cell in their body.

Can't climb smooth surfaces.
 

Scoly

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They're probably one of the easiest spiders to keep.

They don't have an aggressive cell in their body.

Can't climb smooth surfaces.
I hear all that, it's simply the WHAT IF factor :wideyed:
 

basin79

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I hear all that, it's simply the WHAT IF factor :wideyed:
There isn't a what if factor. Never. Drop food in. Pick the bolus out with tongs. Commonsense wouldn't let me but I'm 100% certain I could pick mine up without getting bitten.
 

Scoly

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Exactly, that's why most people just get a 6" polymorpha and keep it in a round fish bowl so it looks like a 12" gigantea.
 
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