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 Post subject: Are Millipedes Canabalistic?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:11 am 
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I received this group of 5 Florida Scarlet Millipedes from Ken. I have them on a substrate of peat moss, Eco-Earth, and crushed oak leaves. On top is a piece of partially rotted oak branch and oak leaves. I mist it every couple of days, and always have some sort of fruit/veg scraps in there. They seem to really like apple and banana.

Now onto the question. I recently dug through the substrate to find them because I did not see any of them. I only found 4, and one of the four was dead with part of one of its end missing. Do they eat each other under certain conditions? Am I doing something wrong? There is no way they could climb out.



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KJ Vezino
Kansas City - Tarantula Group


Seriously misunderstood creatures, spiders are. It’s the eyes, I reckon. They unnerve some folk.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Millipedes Canabalistic?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:02 pm 
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They will generally not KILL and eat each other, but they are scavengers (or more specifically detritovores) and if a millipede dies it's cage mates may eat all or part of it. I also think that sometimes accidental deaths may occur when a millipede nibbles on another that is freshly molted.

I don't care for peat moss as a millipede substrate, in my opinion it is too acidic. I used to see a lot of problems with their feet until I got rid of it. Now I use a just coconut-based substrate (such as eco earth) mixed with a few handfuls of shredded aspen (not pine!!) bedding. The aspen will decay in the moist environment and become edible to the millipedes, a good substitute for those who do not have ready access to rotten hardwood.

Are those fresh oak leaves? They are not edible to the millipedes, and may be mildly toxic although I think they will just avoid them until they break down enough. The best leaves are the ones that have been decaying on the ground for a few months. I like to have at least an inch of this on the surface at all times. This usually needs to be heat treated to avoid introducing cage pests.

Are the fruits organic? I'm not going to say all their food needs to be organic, but that's what I use now. Non-organic apples are especially notorious for having pesticide residue even after washing. Other veggies are good in the mix too, like cucumber, mushrooms, carrot, green beans, etc. I also like to occasionally sprinkle reptile calcium on the substrate. This may be beneficial to the millipedes exoskeleton growth (opinions differ) and it likely also reduce the acidity of the substrate (which is a side effect of decomposing plant matter).

I don't know if those are your problems, but I hope it helps!

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Are Millipedes Canabalistic?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:32 pm
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Location: Knob Noster, MO
Thanks Wade. I've never read anywhere to not use fresh Oak leaves. I've also read that Peat was a good substrate for them.

Everything that came from outside was thoroughly washed in hot water, then baked in the oven. Its so wierd though, I found one carcass, but the other just vanished. And none of them are long enough to climb out of the enclosure either. Wierd.



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Kansas City - Tarantula Group


Seriously misunderstood creatures, spiders are. It’s the eyes, I reckon. They unnerve some folk.
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