Ordered First Millipede! Care to Help?

Najakeeper

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More of a centipede guy here when it comes to myriapods and I know how to care for carnivores in general.

But I could not pass a pair of almond smelling Desmoxytes sp!



I am sure the seller will help but any care info from the experts here will be appreciated!
 

Hisserdude

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More of a centipede guy here when it comes to myriapods and I know how to care for carnivores in general.

But I could not pass a pair of almond smelling Desmoxytes sp!



I am sure the seller will help but any care info from the experts here will be appreciated!
Beautiful millipede you got there, I'm so jelly! :p

Seeing as it's in the order Polydesmida, you are going to want to have a substrate that consists primarily of rotten wood/sawdust. The only other thing that should be mixed in the substrate are dead leaves, and in a very small amount compared to the wood. A layer of dead leaves can be added on top of the substrate for them to hide in or nibble on. Keep the cage pretty moist, and supplement the diet with fruits and the occasional piece of dog or cat food. These guys are usually pretty sensitive to high temperatures, but seeing as this species is tropical, room temperature shouldn't hurt them. Temps any higher could prove fatal though.

Lastly, you should know that this group of millipedes seldom does well in captivity, so don't be too upset if they die rather quickly. (However, this species is in the family Paradoxosomatidae, which includes the common pest species Oxidus gracilis, and a few other species that have become pests in greenhouses around the world and are pretty hardy in captivity).
 

Najakeeper

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Beautiful millipede you got there, I'm so jelly! :p

Seeing as it's in the order Polydesmida, you are going to want to have a substrate that consists primarily of rotten wood/sawdust. The only other thing that should be mixed in the substrate are dead leaves, and in a very small amount compared to the wood. A layer of dead leaves can be added on top of the substrate for them to hide in or nibble on. Keep the cage pretty moist, and supplement the diet with fruits and the occasional piece of dog or cat food. These guys are usually pretty sensitive to high temperatures, but seeing as this species is tropical, room temperature shouldn't hurt them. Temps any higher could prove fatal though.

Lastly, you should know that this group of millipedes seldom does well in captivity, so don't be too upset if they die rather quickly. (However, this species is in the family Paradoxosomatidae, which includes the common pest species Oxidus gracilis, and a few other species that have become pests in greenhouses around the world and are pretty hardy in captivity).
Thanks mate. The seller said to use a gravel bottom, peat moss and wood mixture, green moss on top with some leaves. Also rotten wood pieces. He advised to keep the boxes open as these produce HCN, which can accumulate in poorly ventilated boxes and kill them. He said he kept them alive like this and produced babies so I will try that.

As for additional food, his advice was plant based fish food.
 

Najakeeper

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So I had these for a month and a half now. Aside from thriving, they have also reproduced and I have quite a few pedelings walking around. I first thought they were local millipedes and came with the wood somehow but babies are getting some color now. :)
 

ErinM31

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So I had these for a month and a half now. Aside from thriving, they have also reproduced and I have quite a few pedelings walking around. I first thought they were local millipedes and came with the wood somehow but babies are getting some color now. :)
That's awesome! So glad to hear that they're doing well! Polydesmids differ greatly in how well they do in captivity and sadly, the larger ones in the U.S. almost never live for more than a few months and we have yet to figure out why. :(

I'd love to see photos of the little ones! :snaphappy:
 

UltimateDracoMeteor

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Congrats, but I'd recommend a non-polydesmid for your next one. They are much more hardy in general and have many more available species.
 

ErinM31

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Congrats, but I'd recommend a non-polydesmid for your next one. They are much more hardy in general and have many more available species.
Actually, there are a great many species of Polydesmida! I'm sure the ratios vary in different parts of the world, but in North America, there are more than twice as many species of Polydesmida as there are Spirobolida and Spirostreptida put together! Sadly, most of those have indeed not done well in captivity, but obviously there are species from elsewhere in the world that fair far better. Perhaps, as @Hisserdude pointed out, the family of Paradoxosomatidae seems to be much hardier than most native to North America.

But it is enjoyable to keep a variety of millipede species with their different appearances and behavior. :) Certainly there are some gorgeous Spirobolida and Spirostreptida available in Europe!
 

Hisserdude

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So I had these for a month and a half now. Aside from thriving, they have also reproduced and I have quite a few pedelings walking around. I first thought they were local millipedes and came with the wood somehow but babies are getting some color now. :)
Amazing, glad they are doing well for you! :D Would love to see some pics of the little pedelings. :angelic:
 

Najakeeper

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Thanks guys, I will post photos when I find some time for sure.

As for getting different species in the future, I am really not interested in millipedes. From myriapods, I am pretty much only interested in colorful giant Scolopendra. But I acquired a pair of this species because of their "dragonish" look and unique defense mechanism.
 

ErinM31

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Really hard to focus on these guys as they are tiny but here are a couple photos:



Thank you for sharing! :happy: These are gorgeous millipedes and I do love the dragonesque look of the adults! I really wish I could buy some! :angelic:
 

UltimateDracoMeteor

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Actually, there are a great many species of Polydesmida! I'm sure the ratios vary in different parts of the world, but in North America, there are more than twice as many species of Polydesmida as there are Spirobolida and Spirostreptida put together! Sadly, most of those have indeed not done well in captivity, but obviously there are species from elsewhere in the world that fair far better. Perhaps, as @Hisserdude pointed out, the family of Paradoxosomatidae seems to be much hardier than most native to North America.

But it is enjoyable to keep a variety of millipede species with their different appearances and behavior. :) Certainly there are some gorgeous Spirobolida and Spirostreptida available in Europe!
I meant to say there are less available to buy in North America. Certainly many wild caught specimens can be found!
 

Hisserdude

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Really hard to focus on these guys as they are tiny but here are a couple photos:



Aww they are so cute, I really wish we had these in the US hobby! :angelic: Glad they are so hardy and are doing well for you, keep us updated on them!
 

Najakeeper

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Aww they are so cute, I really wish we had these in the US hobby! :angelic: Glad they are so hardy and are doing well for you, keep us updated on them!
Thanks mate.

I wonder what is the lifespan on these beauties as I do not see my adults anymore but the babies are growing quite fast and getting color. I have 10-15 offspring in different sizes now.
 

ErinM31

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Thanks mate.

I wonder what is the lifespan on these beauties as I do not see my adults anymore but the babies are growing quite fast and getting color. I have 10-15 offspring in different sizes now.
Several/many species of millipede die not long after reproduction. This seems to be true of many species of Polydesmida, including the Paradoxosomatid, Oxidus gracilus. That may be the case with this species as well. I don't think any Polydesmida go through additional molts after reaching maturity so it is unlikely the adults have buried themselves for this purpose.
 

Najakeeper

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Several/many species of millipede die not long after reproduction. This seems to be true of many species of Polydesmida, including the Paradoxosomatid, Oxidus gracilus. That may be the case with this species as well. I don't think any Polydesmida go through additional molts after reaching maturity so it is unlikely the adults have buried themselves for this purpose.
Yeah, might be the case...

 
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