What advice would you give to a new centipede keeper?

CarbonBasedLifeform

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I've been in the T and scorp hobby for about 8 years now. Got my first centipede (H marginata) not too long ago and it seems to be doing quite well. Thinking about ordering a Scolopendra polymorpha soon, but first wanted to get input here since I'm still new to centipedes. I’ve read numerous caresheets, researched the hell out of this species, have a nice big jar ready, and found a supplier of smaller S polymorpha specimens to start with so I don't have a monster right off the bat.


However, experience beats reading caresheets and watching YouTube videos. What general advice would you give to someone starting a centipede collection? What do you wish you knew before getting into the centipede hobby? Comments on S polymorpha are welcome as well since one will be in my house soon lol
 

Chris LXXIX

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To buy a WC gravid Vietnam centipede female. Offering the right temperature/humidity/set up to the bugger. Wait. And then, discovering that there's 2 cm pedelings jumping out from the air holes "you" drilled at a non resonable at all, speed :)

Happened to me just the other day :-s
 
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Chris LXXIX

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The only thing important, anyway, IMO is a no escape at all enclosure. And to keep them on moist substrate (I keep my S.subspinipes on a more moist substrate than the Asian T's I had). Another thing I suggest is a piece of cork bark, they love that stuff.

Centipedes are IMO very easy to care for. They can be hard to "handle" but it's subjective. Amazing predators.
 

basin79

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As above. Make sure the enclosure is escape proof. Centipedes can and will climb the silicone bonding the aquarium/terrarium glass so watch out for that if you're not using a RUB.

Having recently bought them I'd recommend you buy some springtails for your pede enclosures. They're great.

If your pede buries itself don't be tempted to dig it up. Much like a T they know what's best for themselves and what they require.

Enjoy your amazing invert(s).
 

sdsnybny

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As above. Make sure the enclosure is escape proof. Centipedes can and will climb the silicone bonding the aquarium/terrarium glass so watch out for that if you're not using a RUB.

Having recently bought them I'd recommend you buy some springtails for your pede enclosures. They're great.

If your pede buries itself don't be tempted to dig it up. Much like a T they know what's best for themselves and what they require.

Enjoy your amazing invert(s).
Ive read conflicting post, can isopods be used in a centipede enclosure? I have both P. scaber and dwarf purple colonies.
I recently had a WC centipede (S. subspinipes) die about a week after molting and want to make sure they were not the reason for its demise. Its enclosure had springtails and orange P. scabers. I know they will eat dead things, when I found him he was covered in them scavenging his remains.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Ive read conflicting post, can isopods be used in a centipede enclosure? I have both P. scaber and dwarf purple colonies.
I recently had a WC centipede (S. subspinipes) die about a week after molting and want to make sure they were not the reason for its demise. Its enclosure had springtails and orange P. scabers. I know they will eat dead things, when I found him he was covered in them scavenging his remains.
I don't use those. There's in my enclosure enough ventilation and removing fast the B.dubia remains helps. Never had a mold or worst issue :-s
 

Chris LXXIX

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Do you recommend keeping the S polymorpha on moist substrate like this too? I read they like it on the drier side
Well, I've never had S.polymorpha (and btw American continent centipedes, save for S.gigantea, here in Italy are a bit rare, unlike Asians, including S.hardwickei, available at low prices) but while I wouldn't keep one like an Asian (moist substrate talking) I wouldn't either keep that centipede into a "bone dry" set up like a G.rosea or a P.murinus, for that centipedes are more prone to dessicate and captivity is always different than the wild.

An example... here in Italy we have, as a native one, S.cingulata (by far the best starter centipede, same badass attitude, but the venom is mild) mosty in the Central/Southern part of the boot. Well, keepers here in the North, keep that 'pede on the moist side (not too much, but) even if in the wild you can spot her behind "rocks" in sunny places.

With that said, I hope @Mastigoproctus or @Galapoheros could chime in, they know better than me :-s
 

Salvador

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I think the biggest one for me, and a definite learning curve back when I started with them, is the balance of keeping an eye on their needs/living conditions. They can fall foul of bad conditions quite easily, probably a bit more delicate than big spiders and scorps (in general) in that sense, which I didn't quite expect at the time, assuming a big invert would be pretty solid. The more sub and decor the better, they seem to be right at home like this, and on the last point of S.polymorpha, don't keep them moist like a rainforest species, it's asking for all sorts of trouble. A small patch of slightly moist sub at one side of the enclosure or the very bottom of the sub would be fine, and a small waterdish, that way it can choose according to what it needs.
 

CarbonBasedLifeform

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I think the biggest one for me, and a definite learning curve back when I started with them, is the balance of keeping an eye on their needs/living conditions. They can fall foul of bad conditions quite easily, probably a bit more delicate than big spiders and scorps (in general) in that sense, which I didn't quite expect at the time, assuming a big invert would be pretty solid. The more sub and decor the better, they seem to be right at home like this, and on the last point of S.polymorpha, don't keep them moist like a rainforest species, it's asking for all sorts of trouble. A small patch of slightly moist sub at one side of the enclosure or the very bottom of the sub would be fine, and a small waterdish, that way it can choose according to what it needs.
I didn't know they were so fragile compared to Ts. Good to know. I'll set up the polymorpha exactly as you describe and see where it goes in the enclosure. One question though, how do you get the bottom of the sub moister than the top? I'm imagining a type of tube in the substrate to pour water into the bottom?
 

bryverine

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I didn't know they were so fragile compared to Ts. Good to know. I'll set up the polymorpha exactly as you describe and see where it goes in the enclosure. One question though, how do you get the bottom of the sub moister than the top? I'm imagining a type of tube in the substrate to pour water into the bottom?
My advice comes from Ts, but I think it will work.

I use a big fat marinade syringe with my more "moist" Ts (lividum and robustum) to almost pour water in a small spot. It sinks to the bottom, spreads, then I have a nice moisture gradient.

You could always use a pipette too, I suppose.
 

edesign

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I didn't know they were so fragile compared to Ts. Good to know. I'll set up the polymorpha exactly as you describe and see where it goes in the enclosure. One question though, how do you get the bottom of the sub moister than the top? I'm imagining a type of tube in the substrate to pour water into the bottom?
They're more fragile regarding moisture/humidity because they dessicate easier due to their physical make-up. All that soft area on the sides with the spiracles allows for faster moisture loss.

My substrates are usually more moist towards the bottom by natural evaporation. As long as you moisten enough that the entire substrate absorbs moisture then the top dries out sooner leaving a moisture gradient that gets wetter the further in to the substrate you go. If you only moisten on one side of the enclosure that will also help establish natural humidity gradients as the water will wick across through the sub but due to evaporation it will wick farther across deeper down leaving dryer sub higher up...if that makes sense.

A tube that would deliver water to the lowest point first would also work. Not sure if you could do a false bottom like is done with dart frogs and such where there is a water reservoir at the bottom with a physical separator from the substrate media.

I use a turkey baster to add water to most of my enclosures (no pedes now, used to have a couple a while back) similar to bryverine.
 
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