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Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Terrena Laxamentum, Dec 8, 2019.
Has anyone found out how to keep Zephronia species alive in captivity?
The ones I kept, I suspect they'd been overheated before I got them. I keep them in an air conditioned room, so they were kept cool, but they died anyway (too soon to be anything like diet). The problem isn't so much knowing how to keep them alive. It's finding a source who'll look after them before you get them. Given that isn't likely to happen anytime soon, your best bet is to go for the smaller pill millipede species.
That's interesting, I've heard they are temperature sensitive, I didn't realize just how much though.
I agree with @Polenth. From what I've seen, 50% of keeping the larger pill millipede species alive is finding a source that keeps them cool(er) to begin with, especially during the shipping process. One of the theories of why this is needed stipulates that warmer temperatures may kill their gut bacteria and thus leave the pill millipedes unable to digest their food.
The general values I got from searching the internet for people who didn't have them immediately die, and looking at soil temperature where they're from, was up to about 23C. So it doesn't look like they need it frosty in a wine cooler like some species. But that's still low enough that regular summer temperatures would kill them in a lot of places. To be specific, this was the green and black striped species from Malaysia.
The vendor selling them had them go off sale very quickly, including cancelling the order of someone else here. This contributes to my belief that what killed them happened before they reached me.
I don't think this is about digestion. I know it was raised for other species, where people had them survive for a couple of years before dying. That could be a digestion issue. But mine didn't live long enough to starve, so I'm putting that down to regular damage.
I do still think Zephronia has potential and I wouldn't be surprised if one of the species from this genus ends up established. However, it needs more resources than I have.
@Polenth, what do you mean by regular damage? External damage from being knocked around? Internal damage from the heat slowly cooking them? Something else?
By regular damage, I mean damage to the actual millipede of any sort. Damage to their microorganisms is somewhat more subtle and wouldn't be a quick death.
In this case, they didn't show signs of being knocked around in transit. That could certainly kill them quickly too, but they weren't damaged on the outside. For internal damage, heat is the most likely one, especially as they're known for being sensitive to that.