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Trigoniulus macropygus - Flame Leg Millipede Question on Lifespan and Coloration

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Neo, May 20, 2019.

  1. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    So I want to confirm a few things.

    1. I heard that they get more red when they get older. Is this something that still remains true or are there different color variants?

    I've been pretty conflicted in this topic because I came across a thread here that was discussing it for about 4 pages about color variants. I've seen one that had very beautiful, big red bands and those that were almost black with some red highlights. I wanted the ones with the big red bands, definitely.

    2. One seller that is offering told me that they die a few weeks or month or two after laying eggs or mating (so both the female and males). Is this true?

    I'm a bit confused in this because I thought they had a longer lifespan of 2-2.5 years and could reach 5.5". But based on that info, how will they ever get to that age or that size if they die soon after mating/reproducing?

    To me, this news is pretty disappointing since they reach sexual maturity at 6 months. And I think the seller was the only one that mentioned this, imo, very crucial information that I wish I knew sooner. In other words, in a container mixed with males and females, wouldn't they only manage to live for about a year or less?
  2. Aquarimax

    Aquarimax Arachnoangel

    I have kept and bred this species. They do tend to get redder as they mature. I had the redder type...not the mostly black one.

    My adults lived around a year and a half I believe. They had produced young a couple of times before they died if I recall, so it don’t think producing young necessarily cures them to die, they just don’t have very long lifespans. I think mine would have lived longer if it had known more about how to care for them (They were my first millipedes, and even though I successfully bred them, I know more about creating a quality substrate than I did at that time. )

    I never had one that got much longer than about 4”, but they were so beautiful I never worried much about the size.
  3. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I'd like a flame leg that has this awesome kind of coloration (reds and yellows).

    I was wondering though how come this one is so big. Most of the ones I've seen shown around here are like the length of a finger.

    Makes me wonder if that's even a flame leg or a different species. It looks MUCH larger


    There's still some conflicting information. Some people say they can lay eggs multiple times before dying, whereas others say they die soon after they lay eggs. But based on those saying they die soon after laying eggs, that seems to be backed up by more experienced people so far.

    But then how do they get to a large size like the flame leg in that video?
  4. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    So I've come across ANOTHER conflicting information between sellers.

    I have one seller that's an admin/mod on a millipede site in which I shall not name for sake of confidentiality. He told me that they die soon (weeks, few months) after they lay babies and they mature at 6 months of age. I thought that was weird because there are like two pictures here on AB that show 6 month old flame legs and they look tiny, nowhere near the size of the one in the video i linked above (which looks like a 6" specimen). So how can that be true?

    So one seller is telling me this:

    "In my experience they die within a year or two after they have had babies. They get mature about 1 1/2 years. I have one right now that is almost 4 years old. That's the oldest I have ever had!"

    I, then, asked him if he was sure it's the species I'm talking about in which he continued and said:

    "Yes, I have yearlings in with parents. I am sure by the time they are mature (1 1/2 years) the adults will all be gone. At 6 months the babies are only an inch or two long."

    I showed the first response "in my experience they die...etcetc" to the first guy that told me they mature after 6 months and his response was

    "Whoever told you 4 years is pulling your leg.i gotta hit the hay"

    Which I felt like he kinda dodged the thing about 6 month mature or year and a half. And yes, he meant six month because he said his are that size (the size of the 6 month ones) after a month and a half. I mean, now I'm definitely leaning to the year and half to mature because it's backed up by pictures, but why would a breeder of flame millipedes and a mod/admin for a millipede site give info that is so off like that?

    So uhhhhh wasup?

    These conflicting information is very confusing on a still new...millipede keeper.
  5. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    A Thai rainbow (Apeuthes sp., Family Trigoniulidae) specimen lived for 17 years in captivity, but flamelegs die after they reach adulthood. Experienced breeders don't always date everything so you could be getting different honest estimates from memory that are wrong.
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  6. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    Given that people can be terrible with scientific names and a lot of millipedes have overlapping common names, it wouldn't surprise me if they were talking about two different species. But if it is the same species, a lot of things can vary based on genetics and conditions, such as growth rate, number of eggs laid before death, time before mating, and all that sort of thing. I wouldn't expect identical values from two different people. They do both seem to be saying they don't live very long.
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  7. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I wasn't expecting identical values, but there's a big difference between the numbers is what I'm saying. It's fine if one person says 5 and another says 7-8. It's another thing to say 6 months and another say 1 year and a half to mature. Also a difference between saying "they die a few weeks or a month or three months after laying eggs" which makes me think they only are able to lay eggs once or so before dying...as oppose to someone saying they can live a year or more after laying eggs which means they can have many more chance to lay eggs. I think that makes a pretty significant difference.

    So when do flamelegs reach maturity/adulthood would you say since you got quite a bit of experience with these creatures.

    And what about that giant millipede in that youtube video I linked in Post #3.
    That is by far the biggest, reddest specimen I've seen. Is that even the same species? How is that one able to get so large if they die soon after reaching adulthood?
  8. BepopCola

    BepopCola Arachnoknight Active Member

    I believe they also develop at different rates depending on the environment.
    A flamelegs with an abundance of food might develop faster, reach sexual maturity/reproduce, and then exhaust its lifespan shortly thereafter. While another with less food would take longer to pass each of these steps, and might get to mate a few more times as a result.

    It's just a guess, but, since the breeders are having different yet consistant results, it might be because of thier millipede setups.
  9. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    They don't sound large to me. One of the woodlice I keep also dies after breeding, but reaching maturity can either take one or two years, depending on various things. Which means some of them live for double the time of the others. Some also hang on for longer than others after breeding and have more batches of eggs before death.
  10. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Understood, you guys make some points.

    But, as inexperienced in millipede as I know I am compare to you guys, I'd like to add some of my own thoughts purely as conversation:

    But how much variation in the amount of food are we talking here? You're talking about around 300% difference. These are two experienced breeders of the species. Are you saying that everyone that's getting pedes that mature after a year and a half are starving their millipedes to get them to grow at only 1/3rd of their possible growth rates? How much MORE leaf piles can a teeny tiny baby millipede consume to make that much of a difference?

    In my opinion, I don't think the setups should make that big of a difference.

    Either: We're talking about different species or incorrect data collection
    pretty much.

    I would think a variation in a setup that'll cause your millipede to die off THAT much faster would be brought up in bold red text at the top of millipede care sheets such as: BEWARE, KEEPING YOUR MILLIPEDES WITH TEMPERATURES OVER x OR with x AMOUNT OF FOOD WILL CAUSE THEM TO GO THROUGH THEIR LIFE CYCLE 3X FASTER!!!
    However, that has not happened, I've been told and have double checked text saying I am perfectly fine keeping them within a temperature range, to just give them edible substrate like coco fiber mixed with oak leaves.

    I mean, do you think I make some kind of point to what I just said?

    Wouldn't you like to know why your animals are living 3 times longer or aging and dying off that much faster than someone else's specimen / pet?

    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  11. BepopCola

    BepopCola Arachnoknight Active Member

    I wasn't insinuating that slower developing millipedes are starving. I was just tossing out a guess.
    It was more of a- maybe one keeper is tossing in mushrooms or dog treats every other day vs. a keeper only offers cucumbers or only supplements every other week.
    There could also the competition factor- maybe one keeper has 30 millipedes in a tank vs. another keeper who only has a handful of millipedes.
    There are too many unknowns.

    Polenth makes a good point though. It could just be individual (maybe inheritable) differences. Maybe one of your contacts had success in breeding a faster maturing/dieing flamelegs and vice-versa.

    I don't think there's enough peer-reviewed research to support it either way. You'd have to go off the anecdotal evidence of experienced keepers (I am not an experienced keeper), and even so you'll find conflicting evidence (ex. for keeping/cohabitating desert millipedes). I know when I started looking into care guides some did mention not to overfeed protien, as that could shorten lifespans. The temperature thing is usually mentioned if a particular species is prone to dieing at like +/-10 degree fluxuations.

    I want to keep some flamelegs eventually. I didn't know about their variable lifespans though.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  12. Neo

    Neo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    ^ Thank you for the reply/input :)
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  13. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    Each generation can be markedly different for the same keeper and same stock, especially when it comes to maximum lifespan.
  14. kjgalaxy

    kjgalaxy Arachnosquire

    For what it's worth--I've only ever had 1 flamelegs. It was pretty much full grown when I got it. It lived about 1.5 years. As I only had 1, obviously, there was no breeding.
  15. The Odd Pet

    The Odd Pet Arachnosquire Active Member

    Mine look like this and are about that size. I actually just found the female dead but thankfully I also found lots of babies. I got the pair at about 4" but the male is about 6" now.
  16. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have never seen a male of this species with a postultimate molt. Maybe you have a different genus/species. I'd trade for some of my babies.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  17. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    I forgot to mention 6 months is not possible. They take two months just to leave the egg capsule. Maybe 6th months if they were bought at an inch.
  18. The Odd Pet

    The Odd Pet Arachnosquire Active Member

    I'll definitely make a trade with you when the weather warms up. I would love to know if I do have a different genus.
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