Unsure if Millipede is Dying or Just Acting Strange

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Hi!

I've been lurking for a while but finally felt that I needed to get some advice. A little over two weeks ago (26 Jan), I got an Ophistreptus guineensis millipede, along with two other species (an A. gigas and a Spirostreptidae sp. 8) that I brought home. I've been monitoring the humidity and temperature and so far everything has been well within range, and for a while everyone was doing fine.

However, a few days ago (I want to say around the 6th or 7th), my O. guineensis started acting oddly. When she was on the surface, she would spend a lot of time in a sort of pretzel shaped half-curl, though she would sometimes appear to be grooming herself or moving around a little at one end or the other. To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen her 100% stretched out and walking the way I've seen the others.

At one point she wasn't even really curling up much at all when disturbed, or would only tuck her head (it got better for a few days, but yesterday, again she kind of curls her front half, but not her back half - the back half SEEMS mobile - the legs are moving and she seems to be able to get around but she can't seem to curl it as much?). I know she's eaten some (I saw her eating a bit of leaf and some mini cucumber), and the substrate is definitely moist. I also know that she's managed to move to different parts of the enclosure, though only really within a localised area.

Curiously, whatever's bothering her seems to not be bothering the other two at all - they've been thriving and active. I haven't seen any mites on her or the others (apart from the personal mites on my A. gigas),

I've taken a few pictures and two videos all from around the 8th to the 10th kind of showing what I've been seeing roughly and have numbered them in the order they were taken and put them in this folder (the second video has my fingers in it, to kind of show what I meant about the curl): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qGHiEsywyLuxrYcU3MwdFb7Rs37MqEj9

Based on everything I've read in other threads as well as in other sources, it seems like possibly I just happened to pick out a millipede who was already towards the end of her life perhaps, but every time I think maybe she's a goner, I wake up and she's still there. I guess I just want some kind of confirmation of what might be going on and an idea of the best way to proceed from here.
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Update:

Today I checked on her - the behaviour is still about the same, but I did find a single, almost translucent white mite on her, which I removed. I haven't seen any other mites like that on her or anyone else though.

While I was handling her, I did also notice that she smelled odd, but she may have just been agitated - I'm not sure as she's never really secreted or smelled weird before (only my sp. 8 has ever secreted while being handled to be fair). I'll check on that again later.

When I put her back down, she looked like she was going to burrow, but then later (after I returned home again), she was back in the same old position on the surface.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,630
That looks like an expectable (if not necessarily typical, but then again nothing about millipedes is typical) grooming position, which some specimens will remain in for long periods of time, especially when first introduced to a new enclosure; I hypothesize WC specimens may groom more frequently for a short period after being kept in captivity as well.

That said, it is still somewhat out of the ordinary that it would remain in that position for days as you said. Does it wander about the enclosure at all?
Internal parasites could be a factor, or the stress of being captured and shipped may be more damaging on an older specimen. Odd smells typically aren't a good sign however.

Can you describe your enclosure/get a picture? Just want to make sure there is no husbandry issue that may be causing issues.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
That looks like an expectable (if not necessarily typical, but then again nothing about millipedes is typical) grooming position, which some specimens will remain in for long periods of time, especially when first introduced to a new enclosure; I hypothesize WC specimens may groom more frequently for a short period after being kept in captivity as well.

That said, it is still somewhat out of the ordinary that it would remain in that position for days as you said. Does it wander about the enclosure at all?
Internal parasites could be a factor, or the stress of being captured and shipped may be more damaging on an older specimen. Odd smells typically aren't a good sign however.

Can you describe your enclosure/get a picture? Just want to make sure there is no husbandry issue that may be causing issues.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
Hi!

It doesn't wander much - sometimes I'll go over or wake up and find that it's moved a few inches in one direction or another, but it'll be back in a similar position to the one it was before, just in a slightly different spot - there's not much wandering, at least not in a typical fashion that I can see. The main thing I can see physically other than the one mite is that there are a few partially missing or missing legs here and there, but that's not new (at least not to my knowledge - I didn't get to count, but it looks like the same amount I spotted when I got it).

My enclosure is an aquarium - it's little over 15 gallons, long with a curved front. I'd modified the hood to make some ventilation holes smaller and covered others with fine mesh so that there could be ventilation without things getting in and out. There's a heat pad mounted to the back (well above the surface of the substrate) and controlled with a thermostat (it's mostly for winter use, since it gets too cold here in Kent in the depths of winter) and it does a pretty good job of keeping it between about 21-24 Celsius without drying things out too much. Humidity tends to stick around between 70-85% broadly though it usually stays right at around 75-80%.

Substrate has a bottom layer of peat (Habistat sedge peat) that is partially mixed with and covered by layers of a substrate mix (coir, torn/shredded oak and beach leaves, rotting wood, and sphagnum moss) with lots of leaf litter over the top and some tiny oak chips mixed throughout. There's some sphagnum moss on the surface as well. On the surface there's a couple hides (a resin T. rex skull that O. guineensis has bunked down under on a few occasions, and a cork log that the A. gigas likes to crawl into because the other end goes into the substrate), a dish for fruit/veg when it's offered (and just for interesting texture/looks when it's not), and a very shallow dish filled with river rocks and just enough water that if it was really needed, they could take a drink (it's also just useful for helping maintain humidity in the winter), though all but the Spirostreptidae sp. 8 ignore it (sp. 8 just seems to like smooth rocks and will walk across it rather than going around). There's also a small cluster of fake vine leaves on the side of the tank near the log for additional cover.

I've taken a couple pictures, though the one with the exterior is hard to see because of the terrible lighting in my room. There's also one that has the sp. 8 out and about in contrast to whatever O. guineensis is going through. :(

Tank Exterior.jpg Hide.jpg Thermostat.jpg Nzinga and Moremi.jpg

I hope this helps a little, sorry for the less than ideal lighting - it's always this weirdly lit once the sun goes down. I did a lot of reading prior to getting them, but I know there's a lot of guesswork at times too and conflicting information, so hopefully if it's something I've botched, I can fix it a bit.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply! It means a lot. :)
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
101
I haven't kept them myself but I've heard that Ophistreptus quineensis like higher temperatures of 25-28°C, some people say as high as 30°C, so if I were you I'd increase the temperature by a couple of degrees. I personally try to keep my A. gigas and S. sp.8 at about 24-27°C and I find they are more active than they were when I kept them at 21°C, so your other species might benefit too. :)
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
I haven't kept them myself but I've heard that Ophistreptus quineensis like higher temperatures of 25-28°C, some people say as high as 30°C, so if I were you I'd increase the temperature by a couple of degrees. I personally try to keep my A. gigas and S. sp.8 at about 24-27°C and I find they are more active than they were when I kept them at 21°C, so your other species might benefit too. :)
Oh! Thanks for the tip - I've recently got a higher wattage mat and a different thermostat, so I rigged that up this morning and have set it to the temperatures you've recommended, so we'll see what happens!

Today, she didn't smell weird, so I'm thinking perhaps I just agitated her too much the other day. There was another tiny, nearly invisible mite on her - it was fast moving and almost translucent, just like the other one. I took another look at her feet as well, and I'm thinking that at some point in her life she must have had foot rot because she does have a few stumps with blackened tips in the places where I'd noticed it seemed like she'd lost or partially lost legs in the past.

Like before though, I haven't seen any of those mites on anyone else or anywhere else so I'm not sure if I just never spotted them before and they were there the whole time or not.

There are a couple fungus gnats though - not enough to be more than annoying to me and they can't get out on their own, so I've been killing them slowly. I know some people introduce springtails to help - is that worth trying?
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
101
Oh! Thanks for the tip - I've recently got a higher wattage mat and a different thermostat, so I rigged that up this morning and have set it to the temperatures you've recommended, so we'll see what happens!

Today, she didn't smell weird, so I'm thinking perhaps I just agitated her too much the other day. There was another tiny, nearly invisible mite on her - it was fast moving and almost translucent, just like the other one. I took another look at her feet as well, and I'm thinking that at some point in her life she must have had foot rot because she does have a few stumps with blackened tips in the places where I'd noticed it seemed like she'd lost or partially lost legs in the past.

Like before though, I haven't seen any of those mites on anyone else or anywhere else so I'm not sure if I just never spotted them before and they were there the whole time or not.

There are a couple fungus gnats though - not enough to be more than annoying to me and they can't get out on their own, so I've been killing them slowly. I know some people introduce springtails to help - is that worth trying?
I have three different species of springtails in my vivarium and I definitely recommend them, they're great clean up crews for millipedes. :)
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
I have three different species of springtails in my vivarium and I definitely recommend them, they're great clean up crews for millipedes. :)
I hope this isn't a silly question, but is there a particular species that's best to get (I've seen some labelled tropical, and obviously my 'pedes are all tropical/subtropical in origin, but I'd worry about accidentally releasing some during cleanings)? And is there a particular way that they should be introduced to the enclosure?
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Update:

I managed to catch a (not entirely) decent shot of one of the mites (circled in red) on my A. gigas - she doesn't seem overtly bothered by them though?
20200217_212352.jpg 20200217_212529.jpg

I'm wondering if part of my problem is that my substrate is too rich (is that a thing?)

The very bottom-most layer is sedge peat, but the upper layers are a combination of soil, coir, and rotting wood and leaves. I feel like even though my humidity is holding steady, my substrate isn't as moist as it should be (at least the top parts, I've not dug all the way down), but I'm wary of making it too moist too.

Should I dig up the whole tank, try mixing the substrate in with some airier substrate, and add springtails maybe? Would that help with the mite issue and the fungus gnats?

The latter are especially weird for me because I haven't feed fruit and veg more than one evening a week and always remove uneaten bits by the next evening at the latest.

Sorry about all the questions, I'm just trying to sort things out and figure out how to right any stumbles I may have made. These are my first inverts that weren't hermit crabs (I kept those for ten years or so with a lot of success, but they're very different) so I'm still trying to work out my husbandry a bit (I did a lot of reading but that only does so much). Thanks to everyone for being so patient with me.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,630
This is where having the community of Arachnoboards is so excellent...@AuroraLights can give you tips because she has kept this species, while I can lend just some more general info due to a lack in the availability of said species where I live...despite myself being disconnected geographically.
Sorry, just found that awesome.

Anyway, and in no particular order, let me answer a few of these if I can.
Its likely either grain mites or some sort of unidentified commensal mite<---not as likely I'm thinking as it would be odd for the same species to be found on both the A. gigas and the O. guineensis.

I would suggest mixing the substrate together and then place some more rotting leaves and wood on the surface so that if you ever have babies, which are relatively immobile compared to larger specimens, they don't have to travel far to find food.
Just so long as water isn't pooling in the bottom of the enclosure you should be fine in terms of moisture. You want to try and avoid moisture gradients, though this can be very difficult to accomplish sustainably.

Most common white springtails work fine. I would avoid using the "Tropical Pink" springtails however as there have been reports of them proliferating to the degree they stress various invertebrates out by constant tactile stimulation.

Fungus gnats you will likely have till you decide to change the substrate completely and wash out the enclosure. Only then, and likely only if you decide to install micro-screen over the ventilation holes, will the gnats be gone, as they literally live and breed in the rotting leaves, wood, and fungus found in millipede, isopod, etc. enclosures. They are a harmless (if annoying) part of the rearing and breeding of millipedes, at least in small concentrations. Their ability for being able to find their way into one's tea is also admirable...

Hats off to you from me for doing well with hermit crabs! I have had terrible luck with them; the amount of maintenance they exact at times from the keeper is absolutely ridiculous.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
 
Last edited:

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
101
Sorry it took so long to reply, uni has been a bit hectic recently!

I hope this isn't a silly question, but is there a particular species that's best to get (I've seen some labelled tropical, and obviously my 'pedes are all tropical/subtropical in origin, but I'd worry about accidentally releasing some during cleanings)? And is there a particular way that they should be introduced to the enclosure?
Both can work, but temperate species tend to breed quite slowly at tropical temperatures. If you can get a mixture of several different species that would be best, because then you won't have to guess which one will do best, and they might each fill slightly different niches. I don't think there is a particular way to introduce them, I just threw the whole culture in and they are doing fine! :happy:
As for accidentally releasing them, what I do is put anything that comes out of the vivarium (old food, substrate, etc) into the freezer. Because they are a tropical species they should not be able to handle freezing temperatures, so that way I can throw it in the compost without worrying about introducing a non-native species.

I feel like even though my humidity is holding steady, my substrate isn't as moist as it should be
Do you have a layer of dead leaves or moss on top of your substrate? That can help keep moisture in and stop it trying out so quickly. :)

Would that help with the mite issue and the fungus gnats?
A large population of springtails will reduce the number of gnats but it won't get rid of them. It might do the same with grain mites but (fingers crossed) I've not had those in my vivarium so I don't know.

Their ability for being able to find their way into one's tea is also admirable.
Too true! I ended up adding mesh to my ventilation even though I already have gnats, just to keep them inside the vivarium and out of our kitchen. Even then one escapes every now and then when I open the lid, but at least I don't feel like I'm sharing the house with them anymore.

This is where having the community of Arachnoboards is so excellent...
I know what you mean, this forum has such an amazing community! :D It's so great to be able to hear the experiences of people all over the world who share my interests, particularly when no one I know irl does. I've learnt so many things I'd never know otherwise, and I feel like everyone's different contributions are valued here.

PS: I'm a she ;)
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,630
Too true! I ended up adding mesh to my ventilation even though I already have gnats, just to keep them inside the vivarium and out of our kitchen. Even then one escapes every now and then when I open the lid, but at least I don't feel like I'm sharing the house with them anymore.
Oh, by the way, I learned from @NopusNatus that chocolate milk might be an effective way to trap fungus gnats. I like chocolate milk as it is, and sometimes set a cup aside absent-mindedly before washing it out; the past two times I've done that I've found a dead fungus gnat in the small amount left at the bottom of the cup, as opposed to (now, at least, ha ha) the only occasional fly in the tea. Doesn't necessarily prove anything, but I recommend anyone with a fungus gnat problem to try it at least once sometime. I know you don't have a problem with it now, but I'm eager to share new remedies :) to this hobby-plaguing issue.
Pinguicula sp. are also a very fun way to absolutely destroy fungus gnat populations within the home.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
101
Oh, by the way, I learned from @NopusNatus that chocolate milk might be an effective way to trap fungus gnats. I like chocolate milk as it is, and sometimes set a cup aside absent-mindedly before washing it out; the past two times I've done that I've found a dead fungus gnat in the small amount left at the bottom of the cup, as opposed to (now, at least, ha ha) the only occasional fly in the tea. Doesn't necessarily prove anything, but I recommend anyone with a fungus gnat problem to try it at least once sometime. I know you don't have a problem with it now, but I'm eager to share new remedies :) to this hobby-plaguing issue.
Pinguicula sp. are also a very fun way to absolutely destroy fungus gnat populations within the home.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
Really? How cool! If I have a problem again I will definitely try that. At the least it is a good excuse to buy chocolate milk! :hungry:
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Hi guys! Sorry for taking so long to respond - I've been doing monitoring sessions for my behaviour project this week, so I've barely even had time to sit down! D:

General Update: O. guineensis is still staying curled on the surface a lot – but definitely ate with enthusiasm when I put some thinly sliced apple in earlier this week, and when I accidentally brushed her while doing something else in the tank, she seemed to have a faster coiling reflex overall? The new mat and thermostat has managed to get it so that it’s right around 23.9-24 C during the day, though it still drops closer to 21-22 degrees sometimes during the night even with the heat mat and my space heater (or at least according to the thermometer I’ve been using – I’m upgrading that as soon as possible as well).

Still not sure what the best solution is for this – I don’t want to use a heat lamp because of the brightness of the light and the tendency for them to dry things out – I’ve seen moon lamps before used for scorpions, but I’m not sure how they do as far as drying things too much. I know ceramics aren’t supposed to dry and my ‘stat is meant to be good with them but it’s intimidating and I haven’t seen much for or against them re: millipedes (just re: other inverts).

Its likely either grain mites or some sort of unidentified commensal mite<---not as likely I'm thinking as it would be odd for the same species to be found on both the A. gigas and the O. guineensis.
That’s kind of what I was thinking – when I got them, the commensal mites on my A. gigas were really obvious, and I didn’t see anything on the other two at all, and then suddenly I’ve seen a few? Not very many (only maybe 3-5 total), but still.

I would suggest mixing the substrate together and then place some more rotting leaves and wood on the surface so that if you ever have babies, which are relatively immobile compared to larger specimens, they don't have to travel far to find food.

Just so long as water isn't pooling in the bottom of the enclosure you should be fine in terms of moisture. You want to try and avoid moisture gradients, though this can be very difficult to accomplish sustainably.
Gotcha! I’ve definitely got some wood and leaves in there, but it just may not have been rotting enough (it is crumbly but maybe not as much as I thought? Not sure). At the moment I’ve got all females in my tank (and three different species), but that still seems like a good idea – especially with O.g. not wanting to do a lot of tunnelling right now (compared to #8 who loves tunnelling and A.g. who just likes the cork tunnel really).

Right now, just in my storage box, I’ve got HabiStat’s spider bedding (about 5L probably left over from something else), and I’ve got a variety of dried leaf litter (beech, American oak, birch maybe? Can’t remember), extremely fine oak chips. I could definitely go out to the commons if it doesn’t rain Sunday and see about collecting some more decayed matter/wood/leaves/general humus. If I order some more base, should I look at something like coir or eco earth instead of more spider bedding and/or sedge peat?

Yeah I don’t think it is, I’ve pushed my hand all the way down before and I don’t think it was like that (is there a better way to tell?). I’m trying to avoid the gradient apart from sometimes letting the very topmost be not as damp always, but you’re right – it’s tough to get it!

Fungus gnats you will likely have till you decide to change the substrate completely and wash out the enclosure. Only then, and likely only if you decide to install micro-screen over the ventilation holes, will the gnats be gone, as they literally live and breed in the rotting leaves, wood, and fungus found in millipede, isopod, etc. enclosures. They are a harmless (if annoying) part of the rearing and breeding of millipedes, at least in small concentrations. Their ability for being able to find their way into one's tea is also admirable...
Fair enough, I may try. I’ve got some mesh on the ventilation holes at the moment, but it may not be fine enough (it’s repurposed mesh from those powdered sugar/flour sifters, so it’s pretty fine, but those gnats are crafty), so I may need to get something a tad finer to put over it. That said, based on what I’ve seen other people say, I’ve got it pretty mildly (though I’ve also just got the one tank, so that may have a hand in it).

(Also I just looked up Pinguicula and am intrigued! I’ve mostly stuck to cacti in the past (though I have another kind of succulent at the moment) as I’m not known for my green thumb, but they look like they might be made of tougher stuff than your average flytrap!)

Both can work, but temperate species tend to breed quite slowly at tropical temperatures. If you can get a mixture of several different species that would be best, because then you won't have to guess which one will do best, and they might each fill slightly different niches. I don't think there is a particular way to introduce them, I just threw the whole culture in and they are doing fine!
That makes sense – a lot of places I’ve looked at don’t specify the exact species they use so I wasn’t sure! I’ve seen some places say it’s best to put them in ahead of time, but I guess I kind of blew that one hahaha, though the millipedes are hardly going to eat them I guess.

Do you have a layer of dead leaves or moss on top of your substrate? That can help keep moisture in and stop it trying out so quickly.
I do have some dead leaves and sphagnum moss here and there, but maybe I should have made a more cohesive layer to help lock things in?

Honestly, thanks so much for all the help, I really do appreciate it – I’m always kind of shy to post on forums, but everyone here has been great so far J
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Update: Some bad news, unfortunately. This morning, Moremi, my O. guineensis, was dead. I had a bad feeling this might happen, as after a brief upswing, she started acting more and more 'not right,' and then on Saturday, my entire block lost power for almost 24 hours - everyone survived (the other two are doing perfectly well so far), but I'm sure that didn't help the matter.

I'm still going to mix up some fresh substrate this weekend while I have the whole place to myself so I can pasteurise things and whatnot, and then on Wednesday (hopefully - I find out tomorrow, but we've had a terrible cold snap this week so naturally, my seller is being cautious), my springtails will arrive and I'll be able to clean the whole tank out and start fresh (with the remaining girls, who I'm going to carefully check over with a Q-tip for remaining mites - luckily the little white ones are slower than and super easy to distinguish from Zenobia (my A. gigas)'s commensal mites so I can spare those).

I'm thinking (was thinking anyway) of adding one or two to the tank (one I was thinking of adding anyway, and then a second to fill the void :( ) once it's all cleaned out. I'll probably go M. p. acuticonis for one - I've worked with them in research a lot, and like their personalities, but I haven't decided what else I might add. Probably something else middling to large in size.

Thanks so much @Arthroverts and @AuroraLights for helping me out - it's meant a lot and you've both been wonderful!
 

MillipedeTrain

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
56
Update: Some bad news, unfortunately. This morning, Moremi, my O. guineensis, was dead. I had a bad feeling this might happen, as after a brief upswing, she started acting more and more 'not right,' and then on Saturday, my entire block lost power for almost 24 hours - everyone survived (the other two are doing perfectly well so far), but I'm sure that didn't help the matter.

I'm still going to mix up some fresh substrate this weekend while I have the whole place to myself so I can pasteurise things and whatnot, and then on Wednesday (hopefully - I find out tomorrow, but we've had a terrible cold snap this week so naturally, my seller is being cautious), my springtails will arrive and I'll be able to clean the whole tank out and start fresh (with the remaining girls, who I'm going to carefully check over with a Q-tip for remaining mites - luckily the little white ones are slower than and super easy to distinguish from Zenobia (my A. gigas)'s commensal mites so I can spare those).

I'm thinking (was thinking anyway) of adding one or two to the tank (one I was thinking of adding anyway, and then a second to fill the void :( ) once it's all cleaned out. I'll probably go M. p. acuticonis for one - I've worked with them in research a lot, and like their personalities, but I haven't decided what else I might add. Probably something else middling to large in size.

Thanks so much @Arthroverts and @AuroraLights for helping me out - it's meant a lot and you've both been wonderful!
My friend, please allow me to share with you something that will certainly make your bio active soil a better place and bad, parasite mite free. In your area, google where you can buy a special predatory mite called Hypoaspis miles mites. These special little mites do not harm millipedes or eggs and they eat bad mites. They will eat grain mites and parasitic mites, but they will also eat some of your small springtails but that’s fine because the springtails put produce the Hypoaspis Miles mites. I keep Hypoaspis miles and spring tails in ALL of my enclosures. I never have grain mites feasting on uneaten fruits or veggies. If you’re going to be pasturizing everything it would be a good idea for you to invest in these mites as grain mites as well as parasitic mites can travel outside the terrarium when you were cleaning and easil travel back into your terrarium to re-infest your soil. Hypoaspis miles mites can often be purchased at your local garden Centers, or at least they can here anyways. I highly recommend them and I’ve never had an issue with them and I presently have 3 species worth of eggs, protonymphs and actual baby millipedes and they pose no harm to my babies. Hypoaspis miles mites are not expensive and you do NOT need to buy a big size of them. Over time, you will find they have travelled into all of your enclosures even if you didn’t put them there. They ALSO eat snake mites which is a bonus for a keeper like myself whom also keeps snakes.(although none of my snakes have mites and I would simply Nix them or use diatomaceous earth on them if I did.)

In any case, grain mites wouldn’t cause your millipede to die however parasitic mites can suck the blood of your millipedes and with enough of them attached to the legs they can do some harm. Grain mites are simply ugly and unsightly. So I highly recommend these little warrior mites. They’re great! Oh I forgot to mention if there’s no more food left for them to eat they die off (although I wonder if they would cannibalize each other? Hmm. 🤔)
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,630
Sorry about the delay in response...

Anyway, I would recommend something like clean compost over coconut coir; while you can keep millipedes on it so long as you have plenty of food substrate mixed in, it can cause problems further down the road (impaction comes to mind). As Benjamin Franklin once said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Venus Fly Traps (VFTs) can be very hardy if properly cared for, which is not how they come most oftentimes from you local garden center. Pinguicula are much more likely to be sourced from a dedicated grower or carnivorous plant nursery, making them hardier from the outset, and they also are indiscriminate in regards to prey size (whatever their sticky leaves catch they will eat, ha ha), as opposed to VFTs which will only typically catch something if the prey is of a proper size. This thread contain more info in regards to Pinguicula and carnivorous plants in general.
@aphono can attest to how awesome they are ;).

I am sorry to hear about your loss; by the sounds of it she sounded like she wasn't at peak health from the outset. I hope your other two continue to thrive however!

In regards to acquiring more specimens...you are in the UK! Take advantage of the literally dozens of species you can acquire for cheap. Though I would highly suggest you try and purchase captive bred specimens when possible.
Mardonius parilis acuticonis is now Spiropoeus fischeri to my understanding by the way. I need to make a thread on this.

It is my pleasure to be of service, as that is what these forums are for.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

MontePython

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
65
Sorry about the delay in response...

Anyway, I would recommend something like clean compost over coconut coir; while you can keep millipedes on it so long as you have plenty of food substrate mixed in, it can cause problems further down the road (impaction comes to mind). As Benjamin Franklin once said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Venus Fly Traps (VFTs) can be very hardy if properly cared for, which is not how they come most oftentimes from you local garden center. Pinguicula are much more likely to be sourced from a dedicated grower or carnivorous plant nursery, making them hardier from the outset, and they also are indiscriminate in regards to prey size (whatever their sticky leaves catch they will eat, ha ha), as opposed to VFTs which will only typically catch something if the prey is of a proper size. This thread contain more info in regards to Pinguicula and carnivorous plants in general.
@aphono can attest to how awesome they are ;).

I am sorry to hear about your loss; by the sounds of it she sounded like she wasn't at peak health from the outset. I hope your other two continue to thrive however!

In regards to acquiring more specimens...you are in the UK! Take advantage of the literally dozens of species you can acquire for cheap. Though I would highly suggest you try and purchase captive bred specimens when possible.
Mardonius parilis acuticonis is now Spiropoeus fischeri to my understanding by the way. I need to make a thread on this.

It is my pleasure to be of service, as that is what these forums are for.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
No worries! We all have lives off-site. :)

I'm definitely leaning more towards something along those lines. I might include a little coir, but more as a effect of other mixtures than as a primary ingredient if that makes sense. A lot of soil and compost in the UK is absolutely rubbish at putting ingredients clearly on the labels of their bags, so I'm really skittish around a lot of it (which is why I originally used a primarily sedge peat based substrate). I'm going to do some poking around when in town tomorrow and see if I can find a compost that looks okay though! The main things I need to look for is that it's not got fertiliser added to it or manure/worm castings as the main ingredient, yes? I'm also going out into the commons tomorrow (a wooded area of public land nearby) to look for rotted wood and leaves after the storm.

I'll definitely check those out! All of the pictures I've seen of them are really interesting, and I've always liked carnivorous plants even though I've never kept them myself.

And thanks, I think you're right. :( I'm glad everyone else is okay and it doesn't appear to have been something catching though.

True! I actually was living in the US for a time prior to moving (and before getting into millipedes), and didn't realise until I did more reading how fortunate I was in that regard! With S. fischeri (lovely to see that the world of myriapod taxonomy is just as full of change as palaeontological taxonomy lol), I've been running a behaviour experiment with some kept up at school, and became really fond of them. But I've also got my eye on some captive-bred S. servatius that I caught wind of - they're not necessarily brightly coloured, but they've got a really lovely colour gradient.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,630
Yes, you want to avoid any added fertilizer, chemicals, and manure of all sorts. The best kind will be strictly decomposed food and plant waste to my understanding.

S. servatius is truly a beautiful species. Hope to see pictures sometime!

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 
Top