What a week of gentle hand interactions does to a pede

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I recently posted a few seconds of a short vid of me handling my fully socialized Scolopendra morsitans. Now, I've managed to get the full video, to show the full magnitude to which careful, cautious and educated handling can affect the behaviour of a centipede. In addition, this individual used to be very aggressive, but after a week it calmed right down. It's pretty much as safe to handle as any millipede now.
 
Last edited:

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
Oh, I see the video can't be embedded. Would that be because the group I posted it in in closed?
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,076
Wouldn't dream of handling a large pede. I just wouldn't risk a bite. Same as handling one of my Sicarius Terrosus. Quiet as church mice and completely non defensive but nope.

It is very interesting though watching a pede not reacting to be close to a human. I do suppose if you don't give them any reason to feel threatened then they'll just wander around.

Still, not for me.
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
Well, what I'm doing is more than just "put it on your hand and hope for the best". It's a careful process of very gentle touching. They will recognise you as safe, and your presence will not trigger the usual defensive behaviours, making them very safe to handle.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,076
Well, what I'm doing is more than just "put it on your hand and hope for the best". It's a careful process of very gentle touching. They will recognise you as safe, and your presence will not trigger the usual defensive behaviours, making them very safe to handle.

Oh yes, I don't doubt you didn't just stick your hand in and grimace waiting for a bite. You just don't know if the pede picks up on some oil or other skin secretion and reacts defensively.

But it's your body. You're not throwing it on your mates head laughing.

I'm not sure if it's true but I read large scolopendra can cause a reaction to human skin just by walking on it as their feet contain some.
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I'm not sure if it's true but I read large scolopendra can cause a reaction to human skin just by walking on it as their feet contain some.
Ive heard that before too, but I imagine that is just another case of fearmongering. @Mastigoproctus handles much bigger pedes than my morsitans, and I don't believe he has had to deal with this issue.
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
Ive heard that before too, but I imagine that is just another case of fearmongering. @Mastigoproctus handles much bigger pedes than my morsitans, and I don't believe he has had to deal with this issue.
It would be interesting to know if this ended up true. After reading older posts by @cacoseraph, I'm not sure I'm quick to believe it.

Maybe it's like getting scratched by a puppy or a cat and having a reaction with the needle like pokey feet pushing in the dirt on the surface of the skin?
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
i heard it was some sort of millipede that can cause a reaction by walking on you.
 

ErinM31

Arachnogoddess
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
1,166
i heard it was some sort of millipede that can cause a reaction by walking on you.
Perhaps, but I've handled many millipedes and had some secrete on me and the most I've had is temporary skin discoloration -- absolutely no itching or other reaction and I'm usually sensitive to such things! But of course there are quite a variety of secretions and I've handled few millipedes from outside North America. Now caterpillars... There's one with bright yellow hair with longer spikes of black that made my fingers swell up so much that I couldn't bend them! :zombie:

I won't deny that I enjoy handling my calmer tarantulas (where they aren't in danger of being dropped, lost or encountering a cat!) but I know that if they did the unexpected and bit me that it would only sting. But centipedes... I have a strong aversion to them and, seeing as many are quite venomous, I haven't felt compelled to overcome it! :eek:
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
But centipedes... I have a strong aversion to them and, seeing as many are quite venomous, I haven't felt compelled to overcome it! :eek:
As you said, it depends on the centipede. E. trigonopodus bites (not yellow sp.) don't seem to be bad at all from what I've read so these are on my list. :astonished:

Now a subspinipes, forget it. :dead: I won't own one with kids in the house.

I'm very excited to get my first centipede and do plan on attempting to socializing it with a reasonable expectation of not getting envenomated.
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
The morsitans in this vid was the first pede I attempted socialization with. Then, I made a jump and tried it on my three Ethmostigmus rubripes. Unlike E. trignopodus, E. rubripes is a highly aggressive species with a powerful venom, so I was even more cautious with rubripes than with my morsitans. For the first few handling sessions, I tried to minimalise the time it was on my hand by letting it walk in alternation between my hand and its substrate to avoid test bites, which they only administer on unfamiliar surfaces (which your skin counts as at the moment). After a few sessions, I found that the pede had calmed down, and by then, test bites seem to be a thing of the past. As for the petting/rubbing, that's definitely not something to try on your first couple of handling sessions. I'll go into more detail later. At the moment, I'm still something of a novice to pede socialization, and I'm avoiding giving you any information that I am not 100% certain is true. The last thing this hobby needs is people glancing at videos like this, coming to the conclusion that all centipedes are completely harmless, carelessly taking the plunge, getting themselves envenomated, and making a big deal about it.
 

Chris WT

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
92
I respect your handling techniques and you have great respect for the animals. but ill pass,
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
If you look at the image attached, that was actually a dehaani he was bitten by. Also, I believe that was the first time he handled a pede, so he probably lacked the knowledge he has now. He certainly succeeded greatly with a Malaysian Tiger centipede, which is apparently a form of subspinipes. I daresay if he went for another round with the dehaani, he'd succeed.
 
Top