Why does my Archospireptus Gigas try to bite?

KimJongFun

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
11
I've had my giant millipede for just over a year, and a behavior I've noticed is that for the past few months that occasionally it tries to bite me, it doesn't hurt as he can't even cut my skin.
I wash my hands before and after interacting with it (to make sure it doesn't confuse my finger for a carrot or vegetable).
It is more likely to bite me after setting it loose to walk around my room, (maybe it doesn't want to go back into it enclosure?).

But now this behavior is also being done inside its terrarium.

Any ideas whats causing this? I feed him every 2 days.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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Jul 11, 2016
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From what I understand, the keratin that makes up our skin is similar to the chitin that makes up a millipede's exoskeleton; as they want to make sure they have enough chitin for their exoskeleton, specimens often mistake the keratin for chitin, hence the rasping/biting as they try to eat it so to speak.

You feed it every two days...what does your setup look like?

If a giant pick me up I may feel inclined to bite them.
No millipedes bite in self-defense that I know of (except for one unverified report of an Israeli species biting people and other millipedes), relying on their thick armor and chemical defenses.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
 

KimJongFun

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
11
From what I understand, the keratin that makes up our skin is similar to the chitin that makes up a millipede's exoskeleton; as they want to make sure they have enough chitin for their exoskeleton, specimens often mistake the keratin for chitin, hence the rasping/biting as they try to eat it so to speak.

You feed it every two days...what does your setup look like?



No millipedes bite in self-defense that I know of (except for one unverified report of an Israeli species biting people and other millipedes), relying on their thick armor and chemical defenses.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
The millipede is in a terrarium that measures (45cm X 60cm X 30cm), and about 15-20cm of soil depth depending on location, there are 2 living small saplings inside (he used to ocasionally rip a bit of a leaf but not any more.
It still has some small bits of crushed eggshell lying on the ground.
If the photo is too bad I can try to take another Sancho Terrarium.png
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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A clearer photo of the tank would be helpful, but I notice one issue in that there is no rotting wood nor rotting leaves visible in the substrate or on the surface, both of which are necessary components of most millipedes diet's. What is your substrate made of?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

KimJongFun

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
11
I've been at Uni so I haven't been able to take a photo.
Here is the terrarium.
Substrate is compost (no chemicals) and I made sure to pasteurise the soil before adding it to the terrarium.
I've added some bark and dry leaves but wee lad doesn't really care about them. IMG_20201013_180011.jpg
IMG_20201013_175950.jpg
 

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rookiesanewb

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
17
One of mine sort of scrapes at my skin over and over, sort of like a 'bite' in look but repeated and without breaking the skin. I always thought they were trying to dig. :rofl: Sort of like how some snakes try and 'bury' into your hand with their noses when you hold them (I've had sand boas and hognoses do this).
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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There is one major problem with your current setup in that there is nowhere near enough food in the form of rotting wood and rotting leaves (you can feed veggies, fruits, fish foods, etc. every day and it still won't be enough). Nearly all millipedes require these two things in order to survive long-term, so without them comprising 30-50% of your substrate you will eventually end up with a dead specimen. I recommend taking a look at this thread (the substrate section in particular) to learn more about this.

What sort of bark and dry leaves have you been offering?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Tidbit

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
55
I've had my giant millipede for just over a year, and a behavior I've noticed is that for the past few months that occasionally it tries to bite me, it doesn't hurt as he can't even cut my skin.
I wash my hands before and after interacting with it (to make sure it doesn't confuse my finger for a carrot or vegetable).
It is more likely to bite me after setting it loose to walk around my room, (maybe it doesn't want to go back into it enclosure?).

But now this behavior is also being done inside its terrarium.

Any ideas whats causing this? I feed him every 2 days.
My ivory and blunt-tailed do that too, it’s so weird. I had the ivory on my hoodie and he tried to eat that too 😂
It’s probably looking for calcium like another user mentioned, though my substrate is calcium-infused. Also, I never grab my millis to hold them, they just happen upon my hand and start chewing on it. I can take it for maybe a few seconds but then it actually starts to hurt and they won’t stop until I move them off.

Also, once I had to grab a blunt-tailed because it was escaping its cage and it bit me pretty hard, it legit pinched but didn’t break the skin.

Overall, an interesting phenomenon...
 
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