Socializing Centipedes

NYAN

Arachnoking
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I also watched a vid with that guy where he appears to be tagged like 20 times in about 5 minutes, would like to watch a vid from a sane human being.....
Define ‘sane’? Here we are talking about how to hold a venomous snake with legs.. with all seriousness he knows a lot about the hobby, I think most of what he does is reasonable from my perspective. Has anyone mentioned socializing centipedes to someone outside of the hobby? I’ve done it a few times and everyone always thinks I’m crazy haha.
 

StampFan

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Define ‘sane’? Here we are talking about how to hold a venomous snake with legs.. with all seriousness he knows a lot about the hobby, I think most of what he does is reasonable from my perspective. Has anyone mentioned socializing centipedes to someone outside of the hobby? I’ve done it a few times and everyone always thinks I’m crazy haha.
There has to be a better, more methodical scientific way then to get tagged a bunch of times....
 

Mirandarachnid

Arachnobaron
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Now that I think about it, I think that pede he got tagged by a bunch of times was one he caught with his hands, and now the pede sees him as a threat? I'd have to find that video again, but I know he mentioned that about one of them.
 

StampFan

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Now that I think about it, I think that pede he got tagged by a bunch of times was one he caught with his hands, and now the pede sees him as a threat? I'd have to find that video again, but I know he mentioned that about one of them.
All I know is I watched a vid where this guy on that channel had about 15 "ouches" before I turned it off. It was ridiculous. Won't watch again.

On another completely unrelated note, I watched a vid tonight from another YouTuber who will remain unnamed, who re-housed some T's into enclosures that looked about 1-2 inches longer/wider. Also beyond ridiculous, in a different way.
 

Smokehound714

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Theyre not 'socialized', theyre simply smart enough to understand you are their food source. Never ever drop your guard around any large scolopendra.
 

Staehilomyces

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"Socialized" is simply the term used to describe a centipede that no longer perceives its owner as a threat, and can thus be freehandled with minimal issue. I honestly doubt that the centipedes recognise the owner as a food source - all mine get tong fed, and I've had success socialising every pede I've worked with except adult E. rubripes.
 

Loops117

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Ok. So far.
Don't do it with S.dehaani.
Try a better species (will try to find .heros), and go from there.
I'm going to get bit....a few times.

I think i'm gonna give it a try. Atleast i'll be able to say i've been bitten by a giant centipede if all else fails.
 

Staehilomyces

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You're not guaranteed to get bit...its just a possibility that must be accepted.

Also, if you do socialise a S. heros, try your best to rub it in Coyote Peterson's face;)
 

Loops117

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You're not guaranteed to get bit...its just a possibility that must be accepted.

Also, if you do socialise a S. heros, try your best to rub it in Coyote Peterson's face;)
If i socialize my centipede, i'm gonna tell the world. I'm gonna be that guy walking around with his pet centipede. :rolleyes:
 

StampFan

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"Socialized" is simply the term used to describe a centipede that no longer perceives its owner as a threat, and can thus be freehandled with minimal issue. I honestly doubt that the centipedes recognise the owner as a food source - all mine get tong fed, and I've had success socialising every pede I've worked with except adult E. rubripes.
Hey, was just watchin your channel the other day. You have a lot of centipedes! Love your enthusiasm! Are you quite restricted on what centipedes you can purchase in Australia like the T owners are?
 

Bill S

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"Socialized" is simply the term used to describe a centipede that no longer perceives its owner as a threat
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that handling desensitizes them to that particular threat reaction. It certainly isn't a social issue, so "socializing" is not a good term to use.
"... I honestly doubt that the centipedes recognise the owner as a food source ....
I'd go a step further and suggest that centipedes don't recognize their owners - period. They just don't have that much mental capacity. If they get accustomed to a particular pattern of actions - such as food appearing at the ends of tongs - they may habituate to that. But if a hand appears that has something on it that smells or tastes of something resembling food - they are likely to try to eat it. I have seen wild Scolopendra heros scavenging dead mammals that were clearly too large to be prey items - again the mental capacity of these guys is too limited for them to gauge the size of a food item. So betting they won't make a mistake on your hands is a bit like Russian roulette. I'll take my chances with something like a Scolopendra polymorpha, but not a dehanni. Likewise - the scent of something on your hands may trigger a defensive response. Roll the dice and take your chances if you want to. Personally I can appreciate the animal with very little handling or interaction.
 
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Staehilomyces

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Hmm...while I do agree that a pede is obviously unaware of what you are, I think it's perfectly plausible that it's aware of the fact that the handler is a larger animal, especially given the fact that a properly "socialised" pede can be squeezed and "pet" without issue.
Obviously, they don't recognise the owner as an individual, but they certainly recognise your scent, and cease to associate it with danger. Pedes do seem rather more intelligent than most of the hobby inverts (with some exceptions, like jumpers).
 

Staehilomyces

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Hey, was just watchin your channel the other day. You have a lot of centipedes! Love your enthusiasm! Are you quite restricted on what centipedes you can purchase in Australia like the T owners are?
We have the same restrictions as with tarantulas - we can only keep natives. However, there's a lot more variety in appearance among our pedes than our tarantulas. There's an enormous variety of colour forms in several of our pede species, especially E. rubripes and S. morsitans. The only downside is that, due to the fact that no one here breeds them (unless they happen upon a WC gravid female), all but the most commonly encountered forms are nigh absent in the hobby. I had to do some serious probing and waiting to get what I have.
 

Scoly

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One thing you will quickly realise is that every "rule" you hold to be true gets broken. I owned a L. parahybana who was untouchable, and from what I heard they were all like that, until I found one in a pet shop which I could pick straight up:
IMG_20170318_130731.jpg
Turns out they have individual personalities. I also had a curly hair, which is supposedly a docile species, who would't let me anywhere near it. There are even videos on youtube of people handling their OBTs, calm as you like.

I also owned centipedes, which you obviously can't handle (that's what everyone told me) until I saw videos from this guy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkEmI1pS0tCOZH0Waa7qmDQ showing that centipedes can indeed be "socialised" as he puts it. But you need to take those videos with a pinch of salt. He claims to get the same result with every pede (which he contradicts in another video). Make no mistake, the guy is a genius when it comes to pede interaction and we owe him a lot for showing us it is possible, but it's not because you see him do it that it will work with you and your pede. What you are seeing there are the successes, not the failures, and with a strong bias towards showing that it can be done.

The aptness of the term "socialising" is also debatable. The centipedes do indeed change their behaviour in response to interaction, so they are learning, and become accustomed to human touch to the point of no longer seeking to bite, and this may well be specific to your touch and not someone else's, but that's as far as you can take it. You won't get to carry it around, and if you give it a fright you'll still get a bite. This is in contrast to tarantulas, which seem to either just let you pick them up or not, and there's not much you can do to change it.

I have also picked up some centipedes on my first encounter with them without being bitten, only for them to transform into little monsters weeks later. Others (@Staehilomyces I believe) have reported similar shifts in behaviour too.

Your pede is a dehaani, of which a handling attempt can be seen here (different colour variant):
(They are jumpy, he went about the completely wrong way, and got very lucky)

Here is also how not to do it:

Here is the person who knows what he is doing finding that even "socialised" centipedes will still go for a bite from time to time:
 

NYAN

Arachnoking
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Just saying, you should never touch a centipede’s terminal legs or poke them. That one video you could tell it wanted to be left alone because of how it jerked back. If you’re going to touch a centipede, have it walk onto you, don’t poke it and if they don’t want to be handled ie spasm, hide, burrow leave them be. Just watched the video where the alternans bites the guy a bunch of times. While the guy was stupid and called it ‘one of the most deadliest animals in the world,’ he didn’t make any mistakes while he wasn’t handling it. Perhaps he grabbed it or did something else off camera.
 

Staehilomyces

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Yeah, I've watched those videos. I personally don't think touching the pede while it's eating does much at all when it comes to socialization.
As for both those alternans handling vids, they were both pedes that hadn't been worked with very much before, and alternans is apparently a very test bite prone species. The alternans in Mike's vid stopped biting eventually, as can be seen from his subsequent handling vids of her. I would suggest keeping first-time handling sessions short.

However, while Mike was the guy who got me into handling pedes, I certainly don't agree with everything he says. It's a good thing to show the gentler side of these misunderstood creatures, but he'd often get a little carried away, and people watching his videos without any prior knowledge could easily come to the conclusion that centipedes are harmless. In these two videos in particular, he seemed dangerously "pro-handling". I'm all for showing socialized pedes on YT, but I personally think it's very important to outline the risks as well.

I'm also glad I didn't take his advice about starting with Ethmos. He told me that members of that genus were some of the most docile pedes out there. Needless to say, I got a bit of a shock when I first saw Azog - 17cm of pure fury. Those of you who've known me for a while would be well aware that Ethmos give me more trouble than any other Aussie pedes when it comes to handling. Every bite I've ever taken came from an Ethmostigmus.

@Scoly you're certainly right about the shifts in behaviour. I did manage to get Azog to a point where I almost trusted it (It'd still test bite a lot though), but things started going downhill from there.
Take a look at Azog in this old (and rather long and boring) video of mine:
Seems docile enough, but within a week, it was meaner than ever. I also came close to socializing a slightly smaller tiger form rubripes, with similar results. That pede gave me my first (and only) "wet" bite. While it only injected a tiny amount of venom, it was enough to cause discomfort for nearly a week.

On the other hand, I've had some successes as well. One was my old S. morsitans. It was amazingly calm - never envenomated under any circumstances whatsoever. Just a pity it died before my YT channel was up and running.
The most well-socialized pede I currently have is a juvenile green rubripes. It did try to "eat" my hand once, but that was probably due to the fact that I held it right after having a shower, and my hands were covered in soap. I've never had any issues since, and would say I "trust" it as much as my old morsitans, but I don't show it on my YouTube because I can't stand the constant comments about its mite infestation.
I've also been working with multiple juvenile rubripes and another adult morsitans with good results.

Personally, I think that juvenile pedes are some of the best for socialization, and when it comes to rubripes, they're all I'm willing to handle. They may be jumpy, but they're far more likely to run than bite, and can't do much harm anyway. Plus, they're super cute.
 

Scoly

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I'm also glad I didn't take his advice about starting with Ethmos. He told me that members of that genus were some of the most docile pedes out there. Needless to say, I got a bit of a shock when I first saw Azog - 17cm of pure fury.
I have currently have 3 Ethmostigmus trigonopodus blue leg, and while they are not aggressive in the fast and jerky sense, they do readily bite forceps, but then they will also sit on your hand without any fuss. A year or two back I had a yellow leg variety of the same species and it was a different ball game altogether, behaved more like an Asian pede!
 

Staehilomyces

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Yeah, I've noticed similar variations in temperament between different rubripes forms. All of my stocky Townsville rubripes are quite docile. On the other hand, my tigers are psychotic, my larger green form is also a nutcase, and my blue/jade legged rubripes* is not only psycho, but extremely fast as well. My dark tiger rubripes isn't aggressive in the same sense as the ones mentioned above, but if poked/breathed on, it will thrash around like a fish out of water, flinging bits of substrate everywhere. The juvenile green form I've been handling was very jumpy, but given its size, I never found it very intimidating, so I went straight for socialization.

*Used to call this one a Kuranda rubripes, but the actual Kuranda look markedly different.
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
689
One thing you will quickly realise is that every "rule" you hold to be true gets broken. I owned a L. parahybana who was untouchable, and from what I heard they were all like that, until I found one in a pet shop which I could pick straight up:
View attachment 281024
Turns out they have individual personalities. I also had a curly hair, which is supposedly a docile species, who would't let me anywhere near it. There are even videos on youtube of people handling their OBTs, calm as you like.

I also owned centipedes, which you obviously can't handle (that's what everyone told me) until I saw videos from this guy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkEmI1pS0tCOZH0Waa7qmDQ showing that centipedes can indeed be "socialised" as he puts it. But you need to take those videos with a pinch of salt. He claims to get the same result with every pede (which he contradicts in another video). Make no mistake, the guy is a genius when it comes to pede interaction and we owe him a lot for showing us it is possible, but it's not because you see him do it that it will work with you and your pede. What you are seeing there are the successes, not the failures, and with a strong bias towards showing that it can be done.

The aptness of the term "socialising" is also debatable. The centipedes do indeed change their behaviour in response to interaction, so they are learning, and become accustomed to human touch to the point of no longer seeking to bite, and this may well be specific to your touch and not someone else's, but that's as far as you can take it. You won't get to carry it around, and if you give it a fright you'll still get a bite. This is in contrast to tarantulas, which seem to either just let you pick them up or not, and there's not much you can do to change it.

I have also picked up some centipedes on my first encounter with them without being bitten, only for them to transform into little monsters weeks later. Others (@Staehilomyces I believe) have reported similar shifts in behaviour too.

Your pede is a dehaani, of which a handling attempt can be seen here (different colour variant):
(They are jumpy, he went about the completely wrong way, and got very lucky)

Here is also how not to do it:

Here is the person who knows what he is doing finding that even "socialised" centipedes will still go for a bite from time to time:
This guy is a member here, has posts in the archive.

My *fav* that I was watching the other day was he was doing his normal 'pede touching when some large monitor or something walks by him in the background, he pets it, and keeps on goin' LOL.
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
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Messages
689
Yeah, I've watched those videos. I personally don't think touching the pede while it's eating does much at all when it comes to socialization.
As for both those alternans handling vids, they were both pedes that hadn't been worked with very much before, and alternans is apparently a very test bite prone species. The alternans in Mike's vid stopped biting eventually, as can be seen from his subsequent handling vids of her. I would suggest keeping first-time handling sessions short.

However, while Mike was the guy who got me into handling pedes, I certainly don't agree with everything he says. It's a good thing to show the gentler side of these misunderstood creatures, but he'd often get a little carried away, and people watching his videos without any prior knowledge could easily come to the conclusion that centipedes are harmless. In these two videos in particular, he seemed dangerously "pro-handling". I'm all for showing socialized pedes on YT, but I personally think it's very important to outline the risks as well.
I've noticed that in your vids you are using quite shallow tub-type enclosures, and most folks on here suggest DEEP tubs so the 'pede can't reach the top. Is that by design, convenience (aka space and stacking) or personal preference?

Any opinions on Mike's "my 'pede eats fruit" or his style of keeping many of them in jars?
 
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