questions about new millie

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
1,123
Hi all,
I just picked up my AGB last night. (I think its a female) I noticed that there are tiny little mites, near her head. These crawl up from her underside region. Are these of a symbiotic nature? Or, do they pose a threat to my t's, my snakes, and my scorp?
Peace,
Gillian
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Gillian-

Most likely, they ar symbionts/bennificials that feed on debis and fungi that accumulates on the millipedes and should pose no danger to the millis. They're host-specific, so they would not transfer to T's or scorps.

There is the possibility that they are some sort of scavanger or parasite, which could pose a risk to the other animals. Those T's and scorps in dry cages are probably not at risk, but those in moist cages may be.

Many keepers prefer not to see any mites at all in their cages, and choose to get rid of them even if they're harmless. The only effective way to do this that I've found is the use of predatory mites, Hyposaspis miles, which prey on other mite species (as well as fungus gnat eggs) and then die off once they've done their work. You can get them from www.biconet.com . See my response on the insect forum to the thread "hissers and mites" (or something like that) for more details on fighting mites with mites.

Wade
 

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
1,123
Wade,
Uh, uh oh. In the case of the moisture lovers, I have some very tiny, (and, more than likely easily killed by mites) slings I got from Joy, as well as my T. blondi, my A. avic, as well as my Brazilian Rainbow Boa. I, at current, am keeping the cute millie in my living room, at the complete opposite end of the house, away from my pets.
I already have that dealer bookmarked, as I thought that that would be something really cool to have. I must say, though. millies are so damn cute! From their virtually defenseless nature to the way they walk, with their heads down, tapping with their antennae, reminds me of the exact same feelings I have for slings or, puppies or kittens. God, what took me so long!
Peace,
Gillian
p.s., Wade? How did you learn so much about millies, Hermies and such?
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Gillian, Wade had some good info he posted on the ATS site about using leaves in enclosures, perhaps Wade would be kind enough to repeat the info here?
Ed
 

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
1,123
Ed,
Thank you again...Btw, I put the leaves in, and (she?) was munching on them. However, she went NUTS over the cantaloupe, honey dew, grapes & cucumber..God, these things are cute!
Peace,
Gillian
 

MrT

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
2,174
Gillian,
Where did you get the milles? The reason I ask is, last time I was in New Mexico I found two millipedes. Their brownish red.
I really think their cool.

Ernie
 
Last edited:

Valael

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
756
Heh, I put leaves into my Milli's cage (Oak leaves, I read they like to eat and hide in them) and the thing did absolutely nothing with them except walk all over them.



As for the mites, none have spread to any of my spiders, snakes, or lizards, so I'm not worried about them. I hold it occasionally (But it does it's defense thing, so I don't do it very often) and have never had a mite crawl on me that i've noticed yet.
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Originally posted by Valael
Heh, I put leaves into my Milli's cage (Oak leaves, I read they like to eat and hide in them) and the thing did absolutely nothing with them except walk all over them.



As for the mites, none have spread to any of my spiders, snakes, or lizards, so I'm not worried about them. I hold it occasionally (But it does it's defense thing, so I don't do it very often) and have never had a mite crawl on me that i've noticed yet.
I have only held my millis (I have the tan ones from NM and a giant african black) once or twice when I rehoused them and I always wear nitrile or latex gloves as the millis have secreted their defensive "juices". I just throw the gloves away and no stained hands.
Ed
 

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
1,123
Ernie,
I got her from a petshop in town. I think their supplier is in California. Those millies you found look so cool!
Gillian
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
About leaves-

I use dead oak and maple leaves pretty extesively with my millipedes and various beetle larvae. For millis, I usually have a base layer of sphagnum moss, over which I spread a layer of leaf litter and rotten wood. Although they do nibble on this material, I still feed them various vegatables and the occasional fruit. If I have a whole lot of millipedes in a bin (especially when they're babies) I just spread the veggies about on the surface. However, if they don't eat it all it will attract flies, so in most situations, with adults and large immatures, I offer the food in a shallow dish, usually a plastic jar lid or plant saucer. The leaves act more as a supplement than a primary food source.

I collect leaves and litter from areas where hardwoods dominate. Oak and maple are the ones I usually look for, but others may be OK as well. Avoid areas with lots of pine needles. To prepare the leaves, my method is to first fill a 5-gallon bucket with them, and then weigh them down with a brick. I fill the bucket with water and leave it outside overnight. This will drive out many potential pests and predators that you may not want to introduce to your millis. The next day, I drain the water from the buckets and pack the leaves into plastic bags. These go into the freezer for several days, hopefully killing off more unwanted organisms. Then I thaw it and use it. These preperations do not effect springtails...tiny, primitive soil-dwelling insects. Fortunately, springtails are harmless to the millipedes, and may even be bennificial...as they feed on all sorts of organic debris that might otherwise attract mites or flies. Springtails also make great food for really tiny spiders or scorpions...so my millipede bins inadvertantly provide me with a culture of feeder insects!

Many keepers like to cook leaf litter before using it, annother method of killing off unwanted critters. I used to fill up large tupperware food containers with leaf litter and cook it in the microwave for 10-20 minute or more. If you opt for this route, be sure that the leaves are quite wet. You may even want to include a small bowl of water in there, to prevent the leaves from drying out and catching fire. I no longer use the cooking method, because my feeling is that the fungi that grows on the leaf litter may be more nutritious to the pedes and beetles than just the leaves themselves, and so I don't want to kill off those fungi. This is just a theory on my part, there may be no difference between the cooked and uncooked, except your house isn't filled with the odor of leaf-litter tea if you don't cook it!

Wade

P.S. Gillian- Most of what I've learned about invert husbandry has come from being a member of organizations like the ATS and the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute, as well as participating in forums like Arachnopets. I can't reccomend these resources enough :)
 
Top