Scolopendra heros, anyone seen this before (molt problem)?

AlanMM

Arachnobaron
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One of my Scolopendra heros castaneiceps molted couple of weeks ago...
Something went bad looking at some of the spiracles.

Normal spiracles:


Spiracles after molt:


Detail pic of bad spiracle:


After looking for other rarities I also noticed that the segments with the bad spiracles look swollen and the legs attached to them aren't used anymore:


I realize nobody can give an answer to this, it's probably just a bad molt, but maybe somebody has seen this before. I have these for several years under the same conditions.
The centipede is eating normal, but is kinda slow moving... Maybe next molt will correct this...
 
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cacoseraph

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it looks like when i had a tiger that molted in too dry of conditions and got clogged spiracles. i tried to pull the crap out that was clogging the spiracle but it more or less turned the whole set of breathing tubes attached to that spiracle inside out. i waited a couple few weeks after the molt hoping the situation would correct itself but it never did so i intervened
 

Galapoheros

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Hmm, yeah never seen that problem before. I was curious for years about what the wet, white stringy stuff was coming out of the spiracles. After reading a little, I saw that inverts molt the lining of their tracheal tubes. I guess it's possible that if the tracheal tube exuvia breaks off at the spiracle during a molt, the tracheal tube exuvia that was supposed to be pulled out might stay inside and block oxygen exchange, leaving the spiracle non-functioning, maybe the spiracle even dies off. I see some are normal or almost normal on the same pede. It would be interesting to see what happens if it doesn't die and molts again. I wonder if tracheal tubes from good spiracles would grow into the oxygen starved sections that lost the spiracles?
 

AlanMM

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Yes, that's right, all pictures are from the same specimen after the molt, so the first picture show the good spiracles in front. The bad spiracles are the last 3 pairs.
But i guess internally something more is wrong since the areas look more swollen and that one pair of limb legs...
 

cacoseraph

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with my case the head actually died. after a couple months it started to smell bad and the pede could only walk backward. the interesting thing was the back half of the centipede still acted fairly normally even without a working head. the terminal legs would strike if i stimulated them and it would rear up the back half in a ~defensive display


there could be a difference here, though. i pictured my case being a sort of worst case because the blockage was in the #1 spiracles and since they were on the end they really couldn't have much back up from the other spiracles. *if* the breathing tubes cross body segments (which they have to, at least sometimes, as there are not spiracles on all body segments by any stretch) maybe the afflicted segment could get enough oxygen to not totally die.

it doesn't sound good, though. i would say the best thing you can really hope for is to document the condition and how it plays out as good as possible, for posterity like.

i think with gala's explanation and my experience with what sounds like that condition the only hope is to be able to do some correctional surgery immediately post molt when all the tissues haven't rehardened up. it could easily be a condition that will remain beyond hobbyist means of correction, though. it seems like it would be wicked tricky to do more good than harm when poking around with retained tracheal exuvia :/
 

peterbourbon

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Hi,

I'd like to motivate you to send the corpse (if the pede dies) to Jörg Rosenberg in Germany. I have the feeling that this is not an issue to be solved by hobby or husbandry scene since inner anatomy of Scolopendromorpha is still a very difficult and complicated thing.

He is the only expert in gland and digestive functions in Scolopendromorpha I know to date. So maybe he has some valueable information to add (since he's a professional).

I think it's a problem caused by molt (like already stated here before), but it would be interesting to know how and why this happens sometimes.

I think he's a very busy guy, but finally it's worth a try.
Good luck.

Cheers
Turgut
 

AlanMM

Arachnobaron
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Hmm... correctional surgery? I think I would mess up the situation rather then helping it :rolleyes:

We'll see how things go, at first sight it acts normal, I will keep this post updated if I see any changes.

Sure Turgut, I'll send the specimen to Jörg Rosenberg if it dies.
 

Pennywise

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Not having kept pedes more than 2 months, I have made an observation
about a peat moss substrate. Having kept tarantulas for about 6 years,
I used peat moss exclusively as a substrate without problems. Perhaps
for spiders peat moss doesn't present breathing problems because of
their lungs and the fact that burrowing spiders line the burrows with
webbing.
I realized there might be a substrate problem with my S. Alternans when
after setting it up with a peat substrate, it didn't bury itself any more
after a day or so. Why? The centipede seemed to be constantly licking
or cleaning it's breating ports along it's sides. When it emerged after going
under for a few minutes it was covered with a fine dust. It appears that
the peat (baled type) has a dust which is almost the consistency of
flour which clings to the pede's exterior. After replacing the peat with
coco fiber = eco earth, the pede buries itself and when it surfaces
it isn't covered with clingy dust. I have no idea if it's related to the
problem but I think that a dusty type substrate could cause problems
with pede health.
 
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