why isnt my S alternans eating?

Venom1080

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hello, my S alternans has not been accepting the crickets i put in its cage for the last couple of weeks. it does react when they walk on it. premolt maybe?

also, any one have any info for centipede lifespan? particularly S alternans?
 

jseng

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It's not uncommon for them to stop eating for up to a month in the time leading up to and immediately after a molt, plus they can easily go two or more weeks without eating, even if they are not close to molting. Can't comment on the max life span for alternans, but I would guess about 5 years minimally
 

Scoly

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Its perfectly normal for a centipede not to eat for a good number of weeks. Just make sure environment is right, that it has cool and warm bits, and leave it be. If you notice it consistently goes to the cool parts or warm parts of the enclosure, you may have a temperature problem. The same rationale applies to humidity. But in all likeliness it's just going through a fasting phase, which may or may not be related to moulting (and you may never find out that it moulted) so don't stress about it not eating.
 

Venom1080

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well, its been a good while now.. i throw crickets in a couple times a month, i tried large and smaller, and pick them out the next day.. i actually found it out one time and got a good look at it, it seems to have lost most of its color and is missing half a antennae.
how humid do these guys like it?
how long do they fast usually?
any insight is appreciated..
 

Telsaro

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I have heard of some fasting up to 3 months during a molt (Pre and post molt combined time). They usually eat the molted exoskeleton afterwards to replenish some energy, so you might never see it.

For my S. subspinipes, I like to keep temp at 75-80F, and humidity around 70-75%.

Also, if your centipede was WC...it might be a she, and may be gravid. I have heard of them fasting when they are getting ready to lay eggs.
 

Venom1080

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I have heard of some fasting up to 3 months during a molt (Pre and post molt combined time). They usually eat the molted exoskeleton afterwards to replenish some energy, so you might never see it.

For my S. subspinipes, I like to keep temp at 75-80F, and humidity around 70-75%.

Also, if your centipede was WC...it might be a she, and may be gravid. I have heard of them fasting when they are getting ready to lay eggs.
its only about 5" at the most, not even close to adult size. (8"?) i was actually reading through some threads on these guys and i think my problem is that im keeping it way too dry. im going to try to up humidity a ton and try feeding in a day or two. thanks for the reply. :)
 

Telsaro

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Absolutely! Humidity is very important to all centipede species. They can desiccate very easily if not provided the appropriate amount of moisture due to their method of breathing. I think 70% is a good number to shoot for, and usually isn't to hard to get in a small enclosure if you you add some sphagnum moss.
 

Venom1080

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Absolutely! Humidity is very important to all centipede species. They can desiccate very easily if not provided the appropriate amount of moisture due to their method of breathing. I think 70% is a good number to shoot for, and usually isn't to hard to get in a small enclosure if you you add some sphagnum moss.
I and many other tarantula keepers tend to avoid gauges, the numbers are usually inaccurate and often lead people to heavily overwater their cages trying to find get that magic number.
What about Scolopendra hero's? ;) A near desert species of centipede. I will put some spaghnum moss in to maintain more favorable humidity for the pede. I just hope it's not too little too late. :(
 

Telsaro

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I am not sure the specifics of the Scolopendra heroes habitat. I do know that they need some humidity despite being a desert species. I typically try to keep a damp under layer of substrate with a top layer that is a bit dry. This allows the centipede to decide what moisture level it needs. It can burrow for more moisture or come to the top so stay dry. This also helps prevent some of the fungi that can affect centipedes that are kept too damp.

I agree with you on gauges. Not sure if a digital one would work better. I might swap to that in the future now that my tank is large enough to accommodate it. I have found that a water dish with large surface area does wonders for maintaining some additional humidity, and has the added benefit of not needing to drench the substrate.
 

Venom1080

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I am not sure the specifics of the Scolopendra heroes habitat. I do know that they need some humidity despite being a desert species. I typically try to keep a damp under layer of substrate with a top layer that is a bit dry. This allows the centipede to decide what moisture level it needs. It can burrow for more moisture or come to the top so stay dry. This also helps prevent some of the fungi that can affect centipedes that are kept too damp.

I agree with you on gauges. Not sure if a digital one would work better. I might swap to that in the future now that my tank is large enough to accommodate it. I have found that a water dish with large surface area does wonders for maintaining some additional humidity, and has the added benefit of not needing to drench the substrate.
i agree. they need some humidity, but little compared to tropical species.
 

Chris LXXIX

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i agree. they need some humidity, but little compared to tropical species.
Yes it's easy :-s

Talking about adults: not dry like you would keep a genus Grammostola, C.cyaneopubescens, P.murinus etc so with a "bone dry & water dish" but not even in a more humid enclosure like their Asian counterparts. Once part of the substrate is a bit moist it's fine for those North American centipedes.
 

Venom1080

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Yes it's easy :-s

Talking about adults: not dry like you would keep a genus Grammostola, C.cyaneopubescens, P.murinus etc so with a "bone dry & water dish" but not even in a more humid enclosure like their Asian counterparts. Once part of the substrate is a bit moist it's fine for those North American centipedes.
yeah, kinda like Nhandu and Lasiodora.
 

Venom1080

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Forgot to update this one..

Unfortunately, this pede never did well for me. Little to no feeding response, never really gianed weight. Eventually took some prekilled superworms, but only one or two. Died a long time ago, maybe March. Don't know what happened.
IMG_20170410_171133019.jpg
 

Scoly

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Sorry to hear that. It may have been an unhealthy specimen, as many WC are. On the other hand you might have got the moisture/humidity/temperature wrong too. I've not kept alternans (well once, about 18 years ago) but will tell you that many centipedes require much lower temperatures than we imagine, and will suffer or die from excessive heat. I know it gets really warm where they live, but outdoors heat is different to a heated enclosure. For most species you shouldn't go above 25C.

As for the humidity thing, they don't really need air humidity as such (and indeed, this will kill some species) but do need moist spots under hides. The substrate you are using is much too fibrous and absorbent, so it would either all be damp or all bone dry. If you use soil or loam then the water spreads less and the parts under the hides stay damp while the exposed parts dry out, so you have exactly what you want: drier, non-stagnant air, and a moist hide. Going by the photo I'd say the hide wasn't big enough to retain any moisture with that substrate, and given the minimal ventilation it would have been hard keeping the moisture required under the hide without turning the whole thing into a swamp.
 

Venom1080

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Sorry to hear that. It may have been an unhealthy specimen, as many WC are. On the other hand you might have got the moisture/humidity/temperature wrong too. I've not kept alternans (well once, about 18 years ago) but will tell you that many centipedes require much lower temperatures than we imagine, and will suffer or die from excessive heat. I know it gets really warm where they live, but outdoors heat is different to a heated enclosure. For most species you shouldn't go above 25C.

As for the humidity thing, they don't really need air humidity as such (and indeed, this will kill some species) but do need moist spots under hides. The substrate you are using is much too fibrous and absorbent, so it would either all be damp or all bone dry. If you use soil or loam then the water spreads less and the parts under the hides stay damp while the exposed parts dry out, so you have exactly what you want: drier, non-stagnant air, and a moist hide. Going by the photo I'd say the hide wasn't big enough to retain any moisture with that substrate, and given the minimal ventilation it would have been hard keeping the moisture required under the hide without turning the whole thing into a swamp.
I did not know any of that. Temps definitely went above 25 sometimes. Hide was small as I thought they only just needed something to start a burrow under.

Ventilation? Really? It was like that all around the top with about 20 holes in the lid.
 
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