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Scolopendra dehaani - substrate, humidity and temp?

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by PrettyPrettyPetrie, Sep 8, 2019.

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    Hey all - I can’t seem to find a consistency when it comes to the substrate, humidity and temperature to keep a dehaani.

    I have an 18x18x36 tall. One half of the bottom is 3 20lb bags of excavator clay (dry) with pre-built burrows. The other half is (very moist) substrate - a mix between coco fiber, sand and fine grade coco fiber. He can choose either side depending on what he is wanting.

    I keep temps around 76-80. I keep humidity around 70’s. Both fall at night, but only by 10 at most.


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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  2. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    Firstly I love your terrarium set. Secondly I think your temps and humidity are perfectly fine. Thirdly, where is the waterdish though?

    I am planning to get a S.dehaani soon hopefully a cherry red. But substrate I going to go with 100% eco earth with some spagnum moss atop.
  3. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    Moist deep substrate with leaflitter and a piece of corkbark! They really need moist substrate, so dont let it dry out
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  4. Thank you for confirming I’m doing everything right. Yes, I do have a water dish. It is 3in x 3in and has mesh in it to prevent any issues. It’s not pictured here because it was with my dehaani in another terrarium while I built this one. I hadn’t put him into this terrarium yet when I took the photo.

    I like the dehaani, I just wish they came out more. I set up a night camera that sends alerts when he is out and about. .... I get few alerts. :sorry:
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  5. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    A bit overkill in the size and expense. In addition to this, that type of enclosure is terrible for stuff that’s needs substrate depth.

    I don’t see the point of doing that whole elevator clay thing. The centipede can’t dig in it first off. Next the premade burrows are not needed. They like to make their own tunnel systems that are much more narrow than what you gave it. You would be fine using substrate mix that you made for the whole enclosure.

    Don’t measure humidity and temps. Doing this does more harm than good. Your instruments are inaccurate. Humidity doesn’t matter when soil moisture is what you need. Temps can be anything you’re comfortable in.

    You have the right ideas and intentions, however you’re making things more complicated than they need to be. This isn’t terrible nor uncommon.
  6. On the height - My thought was being safe rather than sorry. With a kid and two dogs, I'm over-cautious with these escape artists. Because I have built up with the excavator clay and vines, I am keeping a comfortable distance from a stretched pede to the top. When I can't see the pede, I start to worry. I have to disagree that the height of this terrarium is poor for substrate depth. He has 6-8 inches to burrow in an 18x18.

    The only downside to the height I've thought about is ventilation. I've turned the ceiling fan on for air movement. Seems to be working well.

    The excavator clay has just been a fun add. I can understand that the burrows might be bigger than the pede. To me, half the fun is building these things as it is having the pede. Half the fun of owning a pede is being able to modify and change the terrarium every once in awhile.

    Thanks for the advice on the humidity and temperatures. I wonder why it's such a discussed criteria on the internet. My thought process on the humidity is that it is a good indicator of the moisture content in the substrate? Instead of those commercial suction cup Zoo Med gauges, I bought two mini temperature and humidity flats and one sits atop the substrate and the other sits atop of the excavator clay.

    How do you usually keep your substrate moist?
  7. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    Water poured directly into the substrate which can be complimented with misting, substrate should be damp and dark (but not wet you shouldn't be able to squeeze water from your substrate). Centipedes have an absence of the waxy coating over their cuticle which causes rapid loss of water. For this reason, these animals prefer to stay in damp places and drink water regularly.

    I love when people are creative with their set ups like this, S.dehaani does inhabit urban areas too afterall. I think you have proper depth and 18"×9" roughly should be enough for a burrow. Furthermore I think your set up offers the centipede plenty of exploration.
  8. Your setup looks fine, even if it is very overkill. Most Dehaani as well as most Subspinipes can be kept at 70F and 60% to 80% humidity at all times. 80F should be the absolute maximum temperature for most Dehaani.

    The only exception with Dehaani are ones from Malaysia, such as Malaysian cherry reds. Absolute maximum temperature in this case should be 75F. The Malaysian Jewel Dehaani requires cool temperatures of 55F to 69F absolute maximum. Indeed, the Malaysian Jewel is among the hardest in the hobby to keep alive.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  9. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    If that’s the case then this is fine. The photo doesn’t look like it is this deep.

    Well, you will need to get used to the fact that this species is very reclusive. You may go weeks without seeing it, especially if it’s a gravid female.

    You’re probably fine without the fan.

    Care sheets are usually not very good. They are usually outdated. It’s common for them to mention this stuff in all sorts of care sheets. Humidity is a measurement that is used with reptiles that has been wrongfully adopted into centipede, scorpion, tarantula care.

    It can be an indicator, yes, but it’s not needed. The humidity won’t be an accurate way to assess moisture at the various levels in the substrate. It’s much easier just to keep the substrate moist by pouring water in every so often. You want the substrate to be moist but not wet.

    This is generally correct. Although misting tends to only moisten the top level. You want a moisture gradient throughout the substrate where the pede will be.

    This depends on the species. With arid species this can be detrimental for them to be in damp places. They instead take advantage of microclimates that offer retreat from drying out.

    Again, humidity meausments are irrelevant to soil moisture. It just complicates things to measure it.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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