How i am keeping my centipedes

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Hello everyone, after doing a plethora of boards research and reading books, i hoped to find a happy medium that i am trying out. Id like to add that the way i explain things may come across as "scientifically pedantic" but do note the modifications that are performed are simple, and realistic.

I did borrow one method from a member on this board, cacoseraph, which is to give access to water once a week, not necessarily consistently replenish, feel free to correct me, caco.

I was bothered with many opposing viewpoints which alternated between, just keep a water dish, and keep slightly damp, to, "keep them humid" or no dont do that, youll get mycosis, mites, etc, ventilation is key! Etc, im not knocking anything, only how confused all the different information makes me, and probably others, with that said let me offer yet another piece of differing information!

So in nature what i have observed is sort of an ebb and flow, many invertebrates are found under rocks, burrows, or various other areas where the constant seems to be higher humidity, and possibly with the exception of the rainforest, the remaining areas are not "that" humid. So i think there's a definite balance that seems to parallel with the balance many keepers speak of.

So, to details, the centipede is a scolopendra alternans, the container is an 16 oz deli cup, with the circumference at the top punched with holes a half inch apart, the same on the lid, on the outer perimeter. The holes were punched with a mechanics pick, which seem to be similar in size.

The substrate is half an inch of coco fibre, with a mass to the height of 3/4 of the cup, of spagnum moss. A film canister lid is used as a water dish, with half a spray of water, once a week.

Now down to humidity,

So what i am doing is keeping the half inch of coco fibre dryer, under the condition that there is some amount of condensation around the container, i should note the cage is heated with a night bulb of 60 watts, which keeps the container in the low to high 70s.
Where the moisture is coming from is the spagnum moss, i mentioned that it was a mass, which makes it easy to remove. So what i do is, every week, i take it out, and spray it, i squeeze the water out, then i place it back in the container, and give 2 to 3 more sprays just for a very light surface moisture on the moss surface. Im using this way for a couple reasons, one is the amazing absorptive property of spagnum moss, which holds humidity so well, the centipede can go right in the middle of the mass for a humid chamber of sorts. If they desire dryness, they may go on the dry coco fibre at the bottom of the cage.
I also have my suspicions that spagnum moss is not as susceptible to mold and mites due to its absorptive nature. In soil, water tends to sit, it doesnt drain right through the soil, but the difference between it and spagnum moss is tremendous. I will say again that while the coco fibre is not sprayed if i can visibly see condensation, of course there are variables that need to be considered, in order for this to be applied, as per visually looking for condensation, there should be a temperature differential between the outside air and your container, and similar ventilation. It is my hope that this balance of light condensation, dryer coco fibre, and moist spagnum moss, will yield favorable results. Please feel free to correct any preconcieved notions i may have, and to share thoughts.
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,825
I keep my centipede on always moist (moist, not wet) substrate, but she's an Asian after all. Ventilation IMO should be always top notch, no matter the invert inside, but go figure in this case.

The other centipede I have, her son/daughter basically, lives on my garden all alone :-s
 
Last edited:

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,825
Before entering more into what you said... a view of mine about humidity. IMO not always the parameters should been the same only because "centipedes tend to dessiccate easily".

I'm certain that you have heard this statement a lot as well, man. I think different.

I wouldn't keep for instance a S.heros (yeah... like if my hands would been able to reach one) or a native Italian S.cingulata like I would keep a Chinese/Asian one :-s
 
Last edited:

Jesse James

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Messages
93
Hello everyone, after doing a plethora of boards research and reading books, i hoped to find a happy medium that i am trying out. Id like to add that the way i explain things may come across as "scientifically pedantic" but do note the modifications that are performed are simple, and realistic.

I did borrow one method from a member on this board, cacoseraph, which is to give access to water once a week, not necessarily consistently replenish, feel free to correct me, caco.

I was bothered with many opposing viewpoints which alternated between, just keep a water dish, and keep slightly damp, to, "keep them humid" or no dont do that, youll get mycosis, mites, etc, ventilation is key! Etc, im not knocking anything, only how confused all the different information makes me, and probably others, with that said let me offer yet another piece of differing information!

So in nature what i have observed is sort of an ebb and flow, many invertebrates are found under rocks, burrows, or various other areas where the constant seems to be higher humidity, and possibly with the exception of the rainforest, the remaining areas are not "that" humid. So i think there's a definite balance that seems to parallel with the balance many keepers speak of.

So, to details, the centipede is a scolopendra alternans, the container is an 16 oz deli cup, with the circumference at the top punched with holes a half inch apart, the same on the lid, on the outer perimeter. The holes were punched with a mechanics pick, which seem to be similar in size.

The substrate is half an inch of coco fibre, with a mass to the height of 3/4 of the cup, of spagnum moss. A film canister lid is used as a water dish, with half a spray of water, once a week.

Now down to humidity,

So what i am doing is keeping the half inch of coco fibre dryer, under the condition that there is some amount of condensation around the container, i should note the cage is heated with a night bulb of 60 watts, which keeps the container in the low to high 70s.
Where the moisture is coming from is the spagnum moss, i mentioned that it was a mass, which makes it easy to remove. So what i do is, every week, i take it out, and spray it, i squeeze the water out, then i place it back in the container, and give 2 to 3 more sprays just for a very light surface moisture on the moss surface. Im using this way for a couple reasons, one is the amazing absorptive property of spagnum moss, which holds humidity so well, the centipede can go right in the middle of the mass for a humid chamber of sorts. If they desire dryness, they may go on the dry coco fibre at the bottom of the cage.
I also have my suspicions that spagnum moss is not as susceptible to mold and mites due to its absorptive nature. In soil, water tends to sit, it doesnt drain right through the soil, but the difference between it and spagnum moss is tremendous. I will say again that while the coco fibre is not sprayed if i can visibly see condensation, of course there are variables that need to be considered, in order for this to be applied, as per visually looking for condensation, there should be a temperature differential between the outside air and your container, and similar ventilation. It is my hope that this balance of light condensation, dryer coco fibre, and moist spagnum moss, will yield favorable results. Please feel free to correct any preconcieved notions i may have, and to share thoughts.
why are you making things so complicated? I have the same setup except i keep a scolopendra subspinipes in a ten gallon I keep the substrate damp no heat lamp right now, it stays around 73 to 67 i spray down about maybe every 3 to 4 weeks then i sit back and enjoy. I would say keep substrate damp and you should be fine
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
why are you making things so complicated? I have the same setup except i keep a scolopendra subspinipes in a ten gallon I keep the substrate damp no heat lamp right now, it stays around 73 to 67 i spray down about maybe every 3 to 4 weeks then i sit back and enjoy. I would say keep substrate damp and you should be fine
Because the conditions are complicated, where i live, it is 55 to 60 degrees indoors, which i think is not warm enough for the centipede, hence a heat source.
Condensation results from a temperature differential, which i have near constantly as a result of. The condensation occurs around the perimeter, so i have a couple of options, keep things damp you say.
If i mist the cocofibre i run the risk of making things too wet, if i mist the spagnum moss, while there is condensation, i provide a humid chamber, a gradient, and air humidity.
I believe there are two functions to humidity, one, to avoid risk of dessication, note that i am not restricting ventilation, two, to keep the centipedes exuvia pliable, which seems to be the theory behind belting. If the centipede is kept dry and has to constantly replenish liquids due to evaporation, it is more stressful yeah? So yeah the actual actions taken arent that complicated, im not running any humidity gauges in different parts of the enclosure, were talking about misting some spagnum moss once a week, not misting cocofibre if there is condensation, and providing access to a water dish once a week.
One thing i have done that helped with the condensation is bring the substrate to the ventilation level, meaning there is no wall beyond the substrate that isnt ventilated, this way the condensation is more contained within the substrate.
 
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