N. gordanus laid eggs, the eggs hatched, the babies escaped the enclosure and died...

JustSatanThings

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
16
...All without me knowing. How am I supposed to prevent this??

So, my plant shelf sits right next to my bug shelf.
I was cleaning out one of my pebble trays one day when I noticed something weird. A tiny little curled up dead thing among the pebbles. At first I thought it might have been some kind of grub or caterpillar, but after looking at it really closely and seeing that it has many, many legs I realized it has to be a millipede.
After poking through the rest of the pebbles I found four more tiny dead millipedes. Weird, I've never ever seen wild millipedes indoors here (Los Angeles). House centipedes maybe not not millipedes. These though were definitely millipede shaped... I have three Narceus gordanus on the shelf nearby, and the only thing I could think of was that these were their babies that somehow escaped the terrarium and for some reason decided to all crawl inside this pebble tray and die. Why?? The N. gordanus have plenty of water and food, not to mention that while these things were very, very small I still would have a tough time believing that they could get through a screen top.

I put them out of my mind for a while until just recently when I was refreshing the substrate in the millipede enclosure. I was puzzled to find several little, yellowish, pitted balls scattered throughout. Yep...those were definitely millipede eggs. More evidence for my earlier theory. And now I just have so many questions. Why so few of them? Why would they leave the enclosure...and how? Why would they all together go to this pebble tray under one of my plants where I had sprayed roach poison and sprinkled diatomaceous earth?? And moreover...how do I prevent that, short of poking through the substrate every day which I'm sure would be annoying to both me and the resident pedes? I didn't even know they were there, and they escaped. Gah. Any advice? I'd love to breed the N. gordanus properly in the future.

Thanks for reading!
 

Polenth

Arachnoknight
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
279
Millipedes can't climb smooth glass or plastic. They can climb smooth surfaces that get dirty. They can climb many other things, including sealant used in the corner of glass enclosures. They can get through very small gaps.

I had a bumblebee millipede escape from an enclosure where I'd sealed spaces and the sides were smooth. Some dust had built up on the sides, which was enough to let the millipede climb. It doesn't take much to turn a smooth surface into a climbing surface for a small millipede. So make sure everything is clean and there's nothing else they can use as a ladder.

I'd be surprised if all the babies climbed out though. Some will make a break for it, but not usually all of them.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,275
What @Polenth said. Do you have any gaps in your enclosure lid that are large enough for them to escape out of? Pictures of your setup would also help.

As for the escapees going to the pebble tray, they probably went there for the moisture. Are you sure they weren't resident julids that may have escaped from the plant?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

JustSatanThings

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
16
Thanks guys. The enclosure has a sliding screen top. Dunno, maybe I didn't close it all the way or something...Though I still wouldn't think they could climb glass like that. I'll be making sure to shut it tightly from now on.
I looked up julid millipedes and while it might be possible that they came from the plant, the timing of the appearance of empty millipede eggs in the enclosure is the sticking point... I suppose it's anyone's guess what happened. Millipede forensics. Thank you for your thoughts : )
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,275
@rachmills, if said surface is covered in dirt/other debris yes. They can also climb the silicone sealant in the corners of most aquariums as mentioned above.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,251
Thanks guys. The enclosure has a sliding screen top. Dunno, maybe I didn't close it all the way or something...Though I still wouldn't think they could climb glass like that. I'll be making sure to shut it tightly from now on.
I looked up julid millipedes and while it might be possible that they came from the plant, the timing of the appearance of empty millipede eggs in the enclosure is the sticking point... I suppose it's anyone's guess what happened. Millipede forensics. Thank you for your thoughts : )
Even if some got out, the vast majority would still be in the adult's cage. Do you have any pictures of the dead ones you found? Also, gordanus eggs are not yellow, pitted balls, they are smooth, off-white, very tiny spheres.
 
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