Narceus americanus Death

Chris52

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Mar 14, 2016
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I found this one curled up dead in my Narceus americanus container, and noticed this strange discolored spot on its body. Any idea what it is? The millipede was housed with about nine other Narceus americanus around the same size, all wild caught. I've had them for several months now and this is the first one to die. I haven't seen anything on the others, which seem to be doing fine. IMG_3478.JPG
 

ErinM31

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Feb 25, 2016
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I found this one curled up dead in my Narceus americanus container, and noticed this strange discolored spot on its body. Any idea what it is? The millipede was housed with about nine other Narceus americanus around the same size, all wild caught. I've had them for several months now and this is the first one to die. I haven't seen anything on the others, which seem to be doing fine. View attachment 225459
It doesn't look like any disease or infection of which I am aware but regardless, I would definitely remove it if you are certain that it is dead. It may have died of old age. Unless there are more deaths or your remaining Narceus americanus seem unhealthy, I wouldn't worry.
 

Chris52

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Mar 14, 2016
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It doesn't look like any disease or infection of which I am aware but regardless, I would definitely remove it if you are certain that it is dead. It may have died of old age. Unless there are more deaths or your remaining Narceus americanus seem unhealthy, I wouldn't worry.
I've already removed it as I was quite sure that it was dead. I figured that age might be the cause, but I wasn't sure when I found the spot on it. As far as I know (I'm out of town at the moment), the others are still doing fine. Thanks!
 

Chris52

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IMG_3575.JPG Starting to worry now, as another one has died, this one with spot on its "head". Help would be greatly appreciated.
 

ErinM31

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View attachment 226031 Starting to worry now, as another one has died, this one with spot on its "head". Help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm so sorry for your losses! :( I've never seen anything like that before! In the first photo especially, I thought it merely an aberration in pigment, but in the second photo it looks like it is below the surface or that is an illusion created by the cloudy edges of the spot. Either way, I agree that it is a cause for concern since it has appeared twice now on a dead millipede. It must be some sort of infection but I don't know what you can do. Change all the substrate? Is it very wet? It doesn't appear so in the photos but I would not have expected healthy millipedes to be susceptible to such infections.

Perhaps someone who has kept millipedes longer than I such as @Elytra and Antenna, @Mastigoproctus or @Cavedweller will have a diagnosis or suggestion?
 

Chris52

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I don't have the materials to do a substrate change at the moment, or I would try that. The current substrate is damp, but not soaked, and was just replaced a few weeks ago. All of the leaves were baked at 250 degrees for a half hour and then left in the freezer overnight, so I don't think that could be the source. As of now all the others look normal, but then so did the ones who died.
 

ErinM31

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I don't have the materials to do a substrate change at the moment, or I would try that. The current substrate is damp, but not soaked, and was just replaced a few weeks ago. All of the leaves were baked at 250 degrees for a half hour and then left in the freezer overnight, so I don't think that could be the source. As of now all the others look normal, but then so did the ones who died.
No, not the source in that sense, but saturated substrate is unhealthy. That doesn't sound like the problem here -- damp should be good.

I have looked through my books on millipedes and cannot find anything to shed light on what could be happening to your millipedes. I have had difficulties with several Spirobolids myself and have eliminated every plausible explanation I could think of. I am sorry that I cannot be of more help. :( I hope you don't lose any more of your lovely millipedes.
 

Chris52

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Another two have died, though neither had the strange discoloration...:(
 

mickiem

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Ugh. So sorry. I am afraid you may never know why. Do you have other millipedes? I wonder if age has more to do with it than the strange spots? I'm so sorry and I hope this stops.:confused:
 

Draketeeth

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Mar 22, 2015
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You mentioned the substrate was changed a few weeks prior to the first death. Have you used this brand before? Was this a fresh batch, or did you use remnants from a previous batch of substrate?

Not saying the soil is for sure a cause (I have no idea how fast a millipede would react to bad substrate for this to be a potential plausible cause), but not all batches of the same brand are the same if you made fresh for the change.
 

Chris52

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Ugh. So sorry. I am afraid you may never know why. Do you have other millipedes? I wonder if age has more to do with it than the strange spots? I'm so sorry and I hope this stops.:confused:
They were all collected in the same general area (the 4 that have died and the remaining 5) around the same size, so I guess age could be a cause. I just don't know, as they've died one after another within a month of each other.
 

Chris52

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You mentioned the substrate was changed a few weeks prior to the first death. Have you used this brand before? Was this a fresh batch, or did you use remnants from a previous batch of substrate?

Not saying the soil is for sure a cause (I have no idea how fast a millipede would react to bad substrate for this to be a potential plausible cause), but not all batches of the same brand are the same if you made fresh for the change.
I use organic potting soil as a base substrate for all my millipedes and isopods. If I remember correctly, I used the rest of the bag that I used for the old substrate. It's just been sitting in the bag a feet from where the millipedes are housed for the past several months.

The one thing that has changed between this substrate and the last is source of leaves. They're oak and hickory from the same place, but the ones in the old substrate were collected last year, and the new ones collected this year. All have been treated as I mentioned above.

Thank you everyone for trying to help.
 
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