Millipede death - advice needed

Lea

Arachnopeon
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Apr 21, 2004
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I acquired my first millipedes (sold as A. gigas) quite recently and have been happy observing their multi-legged life. I have 5 nearly adult millipedes.

Yesterday I found one male injured - it had obvious crack between segments and was not moving very well. I left it in terrarium, covered with piece of corkbark. Today it seems to be dead. :(

I do not handle my pets, because they do not appreciate it and also because injuries can happen. However, this seems to be injury from the fall. I have seen them trying to climb in the corner of terrarium but supposed they are not THAT keen on going up. Terrarium is rather high - 40 cm from the soil level to the roof (soil is bit over 10 cm deep and there is lots of area for them). So obviously what happened was that he climbed up, fell and got fatal injuries. I feel SO stupid.

I guess there is no way I can stop them from climbing? Is there some ideas of structures that would stop them from getting too high?
I cannot make the soil deeper either (terrarium was originally for the phasmids I kept years ago and it opens from the side).
Would it help if I actually made climbing easier with stuff to hold onto?? So that they would not fall so easily?

And yes, I know, 100% safe solution is to find another terrarium with less height. Rest of the millipedes are now in plastic box - not going to let them kill themselves, too.

Maybe it is just best not to do terrarium experiments and keep that terrarium for the animals that actually can hold onto walls...
 
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Nomadinexile

Arachnoking
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I don't know what caused the injury, but you are keeping them correctly, according to Shura Sigling's book MILLIPEDES, www.chimaira.de, ISBN 978-3-89973-489-8, copyright 2010,

p. 66

Keeping: Archispirostreptus gigas is a species that enjoys climbing. Adults are mostly found above the ground and are there for easy to observe.

p. 40 under The Right Container

Tree-dwelling millipedes, for example, should have a container that is higher than wide or deep and be equipped with appropriate climbing branches that emulate the situation in their natural habitat.
 

Nomadinexile

Arachnoking
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E&A, what do you think? It shouldn't be from falling if they are found in trees, unless the wood used is too slippery?

Do you think there is a parasite or something along those lines?

It doesn't make any sense to me.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
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I've seen a lot of millipedes damaged from falling and I don't provide them cages that would cause that problem (they hang onto the underside of lids, even smooth plastic they chew into). A cage that gives them an opportunity to fall and crack is likely to eventually damage every one of them.
 

Gnat

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i notice my A. gigas juvies try to climb and chew on the plastic lid. but their enclosure is a small Tupperware type enclosure with only about an inch in between the lid and substrate. i dont have any decorations in the tank. i dont want to risk an injury from a fall.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
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I wonder how they ever survive in the wild then. :?
Considering their reproductive capacity 99.9% of them die in the wild before reaching maturity. We aren't trying to emulate the wild in captivity because we don't want them to die.
 

Lea

Arachnopeon
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Apr 21, 2004
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Thank you all for your opinions. As has been said , most housing information for the millipedes do not say anything of the terrarium maximum (free) height. And I also thought about the fact that they are not protected in the nature either...

But I have decided to be rather cautious than sorry and move millipedes to other terrarium - old aquarium. Not only will it be definitely safe for them, but will also provide them with much deeper soil and more area, too (I have optimistic hopes of getting lots of them in the future :). I can see the potential problem arising if I need to dig them out for some reason, but I will worry about it then. Potentially dangerous terrarium will have to wait until my baby Poecilotheria tarantulas grow up :).
 

Nomadinexile

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i notice my A. gigas juvies try to climb and chew on the plastic lid. but their enclosure is a small Tupperware type enclosure with only about an inch in between the lid and substrate. i dont have any decorations in the tank. i dont want to risk an injury from a fall.
Okay, so I understand what E&A is saying about not giving too much height, but I think you've swung to the other extreme.

I don't care how bad we want something to stay alive, if we have to keep it in cruel conditions to do so, then we shouldn't keep them at all.

Would you like to be kept in a box you can't stand up in for your whole life? I doubt it. That doesn't mean you should be allowed to climb power line towers, but all life should be allowed to at very least have a full range of motion, including being able to "stand" on your tip toes.

I know they are not as "thoughtful" as we are, but they are life. Let them stand up please.
 

Gnat

Arachnoknight
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Okay, so I understand what E&A is saying about not giving too much height, but I think you've swung to the other extreme.

I don't care how bad we want something to stay alive, if we have to keep it in cruel conditions to do so, then we shouldn't keep them at all.

Would you like to be kept in a box you can't stand up in for your whole life? I doubt it. That doesn't mean you should be allowed to climb power line towers, but all life should be allowed to at very least have a full range of motion, including being able to "stand" on your tip toes.

I know they are not as "thoughtful" as we are, but they are life. Let them stand up please.

thats just the enclosure i have them in. they've been in it since they were 1 inch and they are now about 3 1/2. they have kinda out grown their space. i guess an upgrade is in the near future.
 

Nomadinexile

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thats just the enclosure i have them in. they've been in it since they were 1 inch and they are now about 3 1/2. they have kinda out grown their space. i guess an upgrade is in the near future.
Sounds like a good idea to me. :)
 
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