How often are Archispirostreptus gigas offered in the U.S.?

kjgalaxy

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I have found a retailer selling A. Gigas in the U.S. and I was curious how often they are offered and how well they do in captivity in the U.S. I have heard they do not do as well as Wild Caught specimens because of mites the wild caught ones have.

[http://capecodroaches.com/products/african-giant-black-millipede]

{I am guessing it is captive bred because of the importation ban}
I'm still pretty new to millipedes but from what I understand, they do just fine in captivity. In the US, they are captive bred and I've heard they are easy to breed and I've heard they are hard to breed --others on the board can probably give a more definitive answer. From what I have seen, you can usually find them for sale, but sometimes you have to look a couple places. Wards Science often has some of the better prices for them, and you can request gender if you call them directly. You can find them for somewhere between 50 and 100 a piece, depending who you choose to buy from. The mites themselves are the environmental concern, as I understand it. I've also heard that because of their popularity, they were being over-harvested. As I said, I'm new, so if someone on the board counters what I've said, trust them over me. :)
 

arizonablue

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I've kept these guys for years - the captive-bred/miteless millis do not do well. I suspect the mites aid significantly in keeping them healthy. All of mine without mites have died very prematurely, whereas wild-caught millis with mites that I had years ago lived for quite a long time. I've had difficulty breeding them - they've mated, but I haven't had any eggs. They're awesome and fascinating pets, but I've not been having much luck with them since the import restrictions.
 

Hisserdude

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@Elytra and Antenna has been breeding them for quite some time I believe, and has had success getting his captive bred individuals to reproduce. Apparently it's really hard to get captive reared adults to breed, but a 1-2 inch layer of dead decaying leaves placed on top of the substrate, (which should already contain dead leaves, as well as rotten wood), can help induce egg laying. (According to "Millipedes in Captivity" by Orin McMonigle, AKA Elytra and Antenna).

Also I don't think the mites do much for the millipedes, and individuals reared without them should be just as healthy as infested individuals. We have similar communal mites on Madagascan hissing cockroaches in the hobby, and colonies that have had the mites removed act the same and live just as long as colonies with the mites.

All that being said, the mites are completely harmless to their hosts, and may even be slightly beneficial, both the hisser mites and the AGB mites, so there is no good reason to get rid of them.

All that being said, I would go for them, they are rare in the hobby and imports have only started up again recently, and who knows when they'll be shut down again, so I would definitely go and buy some while you can! :)
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
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Captive bred can do very well but they can also die because they are growing and require a certain level of food quality whereas wild-caught adults can be terribly undernourished and live for years. If you (arizonablue) could buy them I would bet you'd have as bad or worse luck with wild immatures (also you may have been sold immature Congos as AGBs). The difference is the difficulty of breeding through generations and even the easy species can be lost sometimes over many years. Unfortunately Archispirostreptus are not one of the easy ones.
 

arizonablue

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Captive bred can do very well but they can also die because they are growing and require a certain level of food quality whereas wild-caught adults can be terribly undernourished and live for years. If you (arizonablue) could buy them I would bet you'd have as bad or worse luck with wild immatures (also you may have been sold immature Congos as AGBs). The difference is the difficulty of breeding through generations and even the easy species can be lost sometimes over many years. Unfortunately Archispirostreptus are not one of the easy ones.
I didn't have any issues raising the captive-bred ones to adulthood, but once they got there, they just didn't do well. They also seemed to spend a great deal of time grooming themselves, whereas the specimens I'd had with mites did not. It made me wonder if perhaps the mites made them less susceptible to bacteria or fungus by cleaning up debris. Could be I've just done something wrong or had bad luck, but my experience with captive-bred millis has been pretty poor.
 

Metastasize

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I've had a pair for a little over a year now and they have produced offspring. My female was purchased through Ward's Science and I believe is captive bred, but my male was a wild caught and still has his mites. There are easily a couple dozen offspring all around 1-2 inches. I think I've been pretty lucky with these to be honest, but I keep mine in a glass terrarium with about 6 or so inches of substrate which is a combination of substrate purchased from Bugs in Cyberspace, soil from some local parks that I found other local millipedes in, cocofiber, fermented aspen, oak leaves, and a couple of decayed oak logs. With atleast an inch or two of dead oak leaves on top. I have a few cork bark hides and moss that they seem to really enjoy spending time in.
 

Hisserdude

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I've had a pair for a little over a year now and they have produced offspring. My female was purchased through Ward's Science and I believe is captive bred, but my male was a wild caught and still has his mites. There are easily a couple dozen offspring all around 1-2 inches. I think I've been pretty lucky with these to be honest, but I keep mine in a glass terrarium with about 6 or so inches of substrate which is a combination of substrate purchased from Bugs in Cyberspace, soil from some local parks that I found other local millipedes in, cocofiber, fermented aspen, oak leaves, and a couple of decayed oak logs. With atleast an inch or two of dead oak leaves on top. I have a few cork bark hides and moss that they seem to really enjoy spending time in.
I think all of the AGBs from Ward's Science are wild caught, otherwise they wouldn't be able to provide enough for the masses.
Glad to hear your female has layed eggs for you, sounds like you got a really nice setup going for them. :)
 

UltimateDracoMeteor

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I thought AGBs were a lost cause in America, but this thread proves otherwise. I may just buy an AGB millipede from Ward's Science or Cape Cod!
 

mickiem

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I purchased mine from Ward Science. They came with USDA papers, country of origin, etc. They are permitted to ship to Ohio, but they had to check as some states they are not. They sent them sexed as requested. The females are 8 & 9 1/2" and the male is about 7". They have mated and spend a lot of time underground in a complex network of tunnels :wideyed:. They came without mites. My substrate is 50% coir and 50% leaf compost w/ rotted wood (50/50) and I have just added 3" of oak (80%)and maple (20%) leaves. The plastic tub in which they live is 35X20X15 with 1/4" airholes drilled every 4" or so along the top (not the lid). The substrate is 6-7" deep. I want to make the substrate deeper but I hate to mess up those tunnels! I have had them since June. I don't have a hygrometer but I would guess humidity to be 60% or higher. Is this substrate deep enough for breeding?

I kept AGBs in the 80's in Critter Pens with orchid bark. Humidity was probably less than 20%. I had no idea how to care for them but they were always my favorite pets! I kept them for years like this. :eek: I did what I was advised with them; I just don't think anyone knew any better. :embarrassed:

I love reading about everyone's experience. I will continue to learn and change things around to suit my captive charges. Millipeeps are the best. :happy:
 

SFA

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Hi guys! Those of you who bought from Ward's - do they care if you're not affiliated with a school?
 

mickiem

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No. They would not send a catalogue to me but no problem with the millipedes. I'm an educator but they still wouldn't send it. They said schools only.
 
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