Novice millipede owner and some questions

Lain

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
43
Howdy all!

I recently branched out from keeping geckos & chameleons into this new adventure of keeping millipedes. Our local shop had some Orthoporus ornatus and I fell in love with them! After much convincing that there were a need, not a want, I went back and "adopted" two, good sized, gold, females ("Middens" & "Buttons"). They seemed to settle right in. A few weeks later a different pet shop had two for sale, a solid brown and a gold (later to be named "Stilts" & "Waffles"). I only intended to get the brown, however my husband insisted "No millipede is to be left behind". So now we have four.

The brown one ("Stilts") was very active and eating well the first day or so, then went underground. He has been MIA for two weeks now. There have been no strange odors, how long should I leave him alone, before I start to worry and go digging?

Second, my most friendly and active one ("Buttons") has a dark patch, she is on the right enjoying a tomato. It looks to be discoloration of her exoskeleton. Would you say this is just her coloration? or previous damage? dare I say, fungal? Milli.jpg

buttons.jpg

Final note, I have been reading this forum for a bit and want say that every one seems so helpful and friendly. Seems like such an awesome community to be apart of! Thanks in advance for your help!
 

Stugy

Arachnolord
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
648
Welcome! Lovely millipedes you have there. Been wanting to get into millipedes but the part about needing leaf litter always deters me (here in SD practically every tree is eucalyptus). I hope you stay with us!
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
From what I have heard, digging up buried pedes leads to bad results. If they are planning a molt (which if brown and not red, then it's very possible. Maybe they have the dull premolt colors like T's?) they can be seriously stressed when uncovered and can even die from that stress. In all honesty, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If worse comes to worse, it'll decompose with the sub (hopefully it is just molting :D). As for the strange mark, it was probably prior damage. Given, I have never owned any millipedes, any fungal infection I have seen pics of hasn't looked like that. Just looks like a wound from a fall maybe? Not sure, but doesn't look like infection. Hope this helps! Welcome to the hobby! Once you start, your collection never seems to stop growing. Especially when people get here. Just look at the T. psychedelicus pic in the gallery :D
 

Jerry

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
591
Digging up millipedes is not recamended dangerous to disturb them if there molting and I agree the dark spot looks like a wound and I would think it should be fine after its next molt might keep an eye out to make sure it's not spreading might mean an infection awesome looking millipedes you got
 

mickiem

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
1,542
Welcome, Lain!

I agree with all above - don't dig, it's just not wise. They are very tender without their exoskeleton and you risk finding them naked like that.

The fungus I have seen has been white and is more prevalent in certain species. I've never seen it in Orthoporus. The mark appears to be a scar from an earlier injury or molting defect. I see that a lot in Orthoporus.
 

AustralianBirdEater

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
6
Gonna hop on the "don't dig him up" train, (just in case you weren't convinced). Millipedes are burrowing animals, so it's probably just having the time of its life eating and digging.
 

Lain

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
43
Awesome! Thanks for all your quick responses, I am feeling much more assured! I will take your advise and be a patient new millie-mom and wait for him to come up on his own time! Glad to hear that her patch is most likely of no concern, I will certainly keep an eye on it for any changes. In response to WeightedAbyss75 about collections are ever growing...I have a feeling I just opened a door that I wont be able to close! I never dreamed that I would get such enjoyment from a millipede!! Thanks again!
 

SlugPod

Arachnoknight
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
193
@Lain

Beautiful 'pedes you have there!
They look to be doing well :)

Millipedes are a favourite of mine and I love them dearly.
I'm hoping to get more this year if possible!

Going to also add - like everyone else - not a good idea to go digging through a millipede enclosure. If they are molting, you risk killing them. You can actually just completely rip them up if they're freshly molted.
Much better to just never dig through a 'pede enclosure unless it's absolutely necessary, most of the time you don't need to.

If you get more - you should update us all! :cat:
 

UltimateDracoMeteor

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
95
The brown one ("Stilts") was very active and eating well the first day or so, then went underground. He has been MIA for two weeks now. There have been no strange odors, how long should I leave him alone, before I start to worry and go digging?

Second, my most friendly and active one ("Buttons") has a dark patch, she is on the right enjoying a tomato. It looks to be discoloration of her exoskeleton. Would you say this is just her coloration? or previous damage? dare I say, fungal?
- Stilts is probably molting. Do not dig him/her up until it has been at least 6 weeks since it went underground, it can take that long for millipedes to molt.

- Buttons appears to have a bruise or wound. Is there any way it could have fallen onto a hard surface? I had a scarlet millipede who had a very similar brown discolored patch with a crack in the exoskeleton and he died a month later, so you may want to watch out.
 

Lain

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
43
- Stilts is probably molting. Do not dig him/her up until it has been at least 6 weeks since it went underground, it can take that long for millipedes to molt.

- Buttons appears to have a bruise or wound. Is there any way it could have fallen onto a hard surface? I had a scarlet millipede who had a very similar brown discolored patch with a crack in the exoskeleton and he died a month later, so you may want to watch out.
Thanks again for everyone's responses!

Wow! I did not know that molting can be that lengthy of a process! That is very good to know and will not worry as much. I'm sorry to hear that your little scarlet did not make it. I purchased her with the mark, as far as I can tell there is no fracture in her exoskeleton and seems ok....for the moment. She just finished digging a burrow along the front corner of the tank, at least I will be able to keep an eye on her through the glass.
20170124_211817 (1).jpg
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,593
colorful pedes like these make me want some so bad, its really too bad theyre illegal here..
nice pictures.
 

UltimateDracoMeteor

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
95
Thanks again for everyone's responses!

Wow! I did not know that molting can be that lengthy of a process! That is very good to know and will not worry as much. I'm sorry to hear that your little scarlet did not make it. I purchased her with the mark, as far as I can tell there is no fracture in her exoskeleton and seems ok....for the moment. She just finished digging a burrow along the front corner of the tank, at least I will be able to keep an eye on her through the glass.
View attachment 229996
Oh, I had another idea for checking the level of damage. When she comes out from her burrow, gently touch the brown spot and one normal spot and see if she ejects poison. If she ejects for one and not the other, the bruise could be more serious.
 
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