Common Name: The term “millipede” is widespread in popular and scientific literature, but among North American scientists, the term “milliped” (without the terminal e) is also used. Other vernacular names include “thousand-legger” or simply “diplopod”.
Scientific Name: (Diplopoda)
Size: Fully grown millipedes range from about 0.12 inches (0.32 cm) to around 10.5 inches (27 cm) long. Some millipedes hatch from their eggs with all the legs they will ever have. Others add segments to the ends of their bodies over their lifetimes, stopping after they reach a certain number
Diet: In their natural habitat, most millipedes are scavengers. They eat damp or decaying wood particles. They also eat decaying leaves and other plant material. Millipedes generally eat fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, moistened dry cat food, moistened fish food, rotting wood and rotting leaves. Not all species eat the same. Some species only live of specific food sources such as rotting woods, while others can live off anything.
Life Span: Unlike other arthropods with relatively short lives, millipedes can live between 7 and 10 years. Most male millipede species do not have legs on the 7th segment to give space for the gonopods or sex organs.
Lighting: Millipedes are attracted to dark, cool, moist environments, usually going unnoticed in the summer due to their nocturnal habits (activity at night) and tendency to disperse.
Temperature: 60 to 78°F. Lighting – Keep habitat away from sunlight; millipedes sleep during the day and do not like bright, hot lights; a red or blue bulb will allow you to watch the evening activities of your millipede without disturbance.
Humidity: humidity is maintained at 60 to 70%
Enclosure: Millipedes are attracted to dark, cool, moist environments that are rich in organic matter such as compost piles, heavily mulched shrub or flower beds (Figure 3), rotting logs, or the soil under logs and stones. An appropriately sized habitat, such as a 5-10 gallon glass aquarium, with a screen mesh lid fastened tightly with metal clips to prevent escape is recommended for millipedes.
Level Of Care: Do not allow a millipede’s secretion to encounter your eyes, mouth or open wounds. Handle millipedes as little as possible; wash hands before and after handling. They require a higher temperature and humidity level than other arthropods commonly kept as pets. All pet millipedes need adequate moisture, which means you must use a proper substrate and mist the terrarium regularly. With proper setup, millipedes are very easy to care for.
Cost of Care: Millipedes are herbivorous, so they are easy and inexpensive to feed. They’re fairly low maintenance pets and can be handled even by young children, with supervision, of course. Initial cost can range form $200-$600 depending on setup and cost and average of $150 a year to care for.
Does a Bite Hurt: Unlike centipedes, millipedes do not bite or sting. The toxin that millipedes release keeps away most predators. Some large millipede species can spray these toxins as far as 32 inches (80 cm). Contact with these secretions may cause allergic reactions in some people. Millipede toxin can cause blisters and burns. Wash your skin right away, even if you don’t think a millipede has emitted any liquid onto your skin. This can help prevent a possible allergic reaction. If you develop blisters as a result of handling millipedes, wash your skin with lukewarm water and regular soap.
Misting: If you go with a cage with a lot of ventilation, you’ll want to mist daily.
How to Tell if Your Millipede is Happy: Eats regularly, Body is rounded and full, Active and alert at night and a Healthy skin (exoskeleton).
Breeding: If you keep the cage nice and damp they should breed. The females lay her eggs in a chamber which she builds under the soil and will hatch out into tiny baby millipedes. It takes about three months for a millipede egg to hatch. Hatchlings have only a few pairs of legs and are short in length. They take several years to grow to full size. In captivity a millipede can live to be ten years old, but most specimens are wild collected so it is impossible to predict how long one will live. Millipedes spend most of their lives in the soil where they also overwinter. In the spring, millipedes lay between 20 and 300 eggs in the soil.
Veterinary Check Up: You shouldn’t need to take your millipede to the vet as long as you have the proper setup, food and care.
Please Do Research on the Millipede You Like Before Purchase