Weird wormy things in millipede substrate

SFA

Arachnoknight
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Sep 4, 2016
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166
I recently noticed these tiny little transparent worms (see picture) in both my millipede enclosures. I noticed them at the same time as some tiny white what I thought were mites, but they jump and after some research I think they might be springtails.

Edit: I am asking about the worms, I do not believe the worms are springtails.

Should I be concerned? I can easily change out all the substrate in my a. gigas enclosure, but some of my ivories and scarlets are buried and possibly molting. IMG_7598_1.jpg
 
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Jp1776

Arachnopeon
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Apr 7, 2017
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I don't know what they are but they don't look like springtails.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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I don't have a clue what they but they're definitely not springtails.
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
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They might be nematodes, or enchytraeid worms. How big are they? From the photo, I gather that they are more than a couple of millimeters long. Nematodes tend to remain very, very small. Though some are parasitic, many are free-living and not dangerous to millipedes. Enchytraeid worms can get considerably larger. I have seen some that reach 1" long, though many do not get near that large. They pose little threat to your millipedes. Both types of worms can reproduce very quickly, which may be an aesthetic concern, and they may feed on food (soft fruits and vegetables, fish food pellets, etc.) intended for your pedes. These worms are ubiquitous in leaf litter, and may have been introduced into your Millipede enclosure along with some substrate that had not been heat-sanitized.

Incidentally, both types of worm are commonly cultured in the aquarium hobby for use as fish food, which is why I am familiar with them.
 

SFA

Arachnoknight
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They might be nematodes, or enchytraeid worms. How big are they? From the photo, I gather that they are more than a couple of millimeters long. Nematodes tend to remain very, very small. Though some are parasitic, many are free-living and not dangerous to millipedes. Enchytraeid worms can get considerably larger. I have seen some that reach 1" long, though many do not get near that large. They pose little threat to your millipedes. Both types of worms can reproduce very quickly, which may be an aesthetic concern, and they may feed on food (soft fruits and vegetables, fish food pellets, etc.) intended for your pedes. These worms are ubiquitous in leaf litter, and may have been introduced into your Millipede enclosure along with some substrate that had not been heat-sanitized.

Incidentally, both types of worm are commonly cultured in the aquarium hobby for use as fish food, which is why I am familiar with them.
Thank you! They are pretty tiny, definitely not near an inch.
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
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1,059
Thank you! They are pretty tiny, definitely not near an inch.
If you see them growing appreciably in the next week or so, they're probably enchytraeids, even if they only get to 0.5 cm or so. If they stay tiny, probably nematodes. :)
 

NeedForPede

Arachnopeon
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Sep 6, 2020
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Hello, found this post after finding some small (less than an inch) clear worm-like critters in my own tank, did anything bad come from the little worms or did you replace the whole substrate?
 

SFA

Arachnoknight
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Sep 4, 2016
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166
Hello, found this post after finding some small (less than an inch) clear worm-like critters in my own tank, did anything bad come from the little worms or did you replace the whole substrate?
Nope, totally harmless. I still get them in enclosures, has never been a problem.
 

NeedForPede

Arachnopeon
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Sep 6, 2020
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Whoa! Nice thank you for replying! After doing a little digging I've been finding some bigger worms 😨 I attached some photos below - do you think they are the same nematodes/worms?

If they are just free-living, I don't mind though I know they are directly compete for food - they are eating the substrate and even the fresh food I give my millis.

I'm pretty spooked by how big they are so I was thinking of transporting millis to a new container.
 

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NeedForPede

Arachnopeon
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Sep 6, 2020
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Whoa! Nice thank you for replying! After doing a little digging I've been finding some bigger worms 😨 I attached some photos below - do you think they are the same nematodes/worms?

If they are just free-living, I don't mind though I know they are directly compete for food - they are eating the substrate and even the fresh food I give my millis.

I'm pretty spooked by how big they are so I was thinking of transporting millis to a new container.
Size info - they seem to be around 1.5" to 2"
 

SFA

Arachnoknight
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Sep 4, 2016
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166
Size info - they seem to be around 1.5" to 2"
Wow, those are huge. Any chance those are actually baby earthworms?? Definitely not fungus gnats or nematodes but I'm not sure what they are.
 

Polenth

Arachnobaron
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Sep 29, 2018
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Whoa! Nice thank you for replying! After doing a little digging I've been finding some bigger worms 😨 I attached some photos below - do you think they are the same nematodes/worms?

If they are just free-living, I don't mind though I know they are directly compete for food - they are eating the substrate and even the fresh food I give my millis.

I'm pretty spooked by how big they are so I was thinking of transporting millis to a new container.
The "worms" in the first post are fly larvae. You can tell because some of them have a darker end if you look closely. The worms you've got have segments, so they're annelid worms... and most likely earthworms of some sort. Final size will depend on the exact species and you might decide you don't really want them in there... but it's a looks thing really. The worms aren't a threat to your millipedes.

I've yet to see a thread like this where the worms turned out to be something dangerous. The biggest risks are things like woodlice, centipedes and other potential predators. Most worms (and soil-dwelling fly larvae) just want the snacks in the substrate.
 

NeedForPede

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
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The "worms" in the first post are fly larvae. You can tell because some of them have a darker end if you look closely. The worms you've got have segments, so they're annelid worms... and most likely earthworms of some sort. Final size will depend on the exact species and you might decide you don't really want them in there... but it's a looks thing really. The worms aren't a threat to your millipedes.

I've yet to see a thread like this where the worms turned out to be something dangerous. The biggest risks are things like woodlice, centipedes and other potential predators. Most worms (and soil-dwelling fly larvae) just want the snacks in the substrate.
Thanks for the response! Good to know they shouldn't be harmful... There seems to be a lot in my substrate so I'm still thinking of transporting my millipedes. Even though I love millipedes, the way worms move gives me the heebie jeebies 😅

I am worried about where they could've come from - I just got new substrate from BiC and I wonder if they possible came from there... I also bought some sphagnum moss and dried leaves for my container... Guess I'll have to do some sanitation!
 

Bob Lee

Arachnobaron
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Sep 10, 2018
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491
I had some worms in my roach box, they can grow to be several cm long but are very very thin...
I just cut them into bits once they grow up, can't say no to free protein :troll:
 
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