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Florida Ivory Millipede CB

Florida Ivory Millipede CB

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Defining Characteristics:

  • Great beginner bug
  • Easy to Care For
  • Likes to burrow
  • Interesting
  • Good in Groups

 

This is an INDIVIDUAL (1) Ivory Millipede!

 

Name: 

Florida Ivory Millipedes are known scientifically as Chicobolus spinigerus. This species is so named for the ivory white coloration on it's sides.

 

Recommended Vivarium Size: 

Millipedes are easy to house. In general, you'll want the enclosure to be at least as wide as the animal's length, and at least twice as long. Keep in mind this is minimum housing size, and as your pede will feed primarily on it's substrate, the more space for substrate the merrier. 

 

Plastic Critter Keepers or small aquaria work well - even plastic storage containers can be easily modified with some air holes and used. The single most important thing about housing millipedes is their substrate. Substrate acts as a place for the millipede to dig, eat, hide, drink, and live in.

 

For a millipede, substrate = life. Substrates should consist of a mix of soil, wood, and leaves. Substrate should be about 4"-6" in depth, and kept moist at the bottom and allowed to very slightly dry out at the top.

 

Temperature: 

You'll be fine keeping your millipedes at room temperature. For most species, 72F to 78F is ideal. Supplemental heating in the form of a low wattage heat mat can be used if needed, but take care that it doesn't dry out your millipede's habitat too quickly.

 

Humidity: 

Humidity is a very important aspect to millipede keeping, as well. Millipedes will drink - some people provide them with a small water bowl, but misting, providing a moist substrate, and providing fresh food will keep them hydrated. Critter keepers and the like can dry out quickly, but do look a bit nicer than plastic shoe boxes. If you go with a cage with a lot of ventilation, you'll want to mist daily. Even though this is a desert species, it takes advantage of more humid refuges under cover.

 

Size:

Florida Ivory millipedes are one of the larger millipedes in North America, with a max size of around 4". They will be 2-4" in length when shipped.

 

Age: 

Millipedes can live for several years in captivity. Estimates generally range up to 5-10 years with proper care.

 

Feeding: 

Millipedes will primarily feed on their substrate - they love decomposing wood and leaves! This should make up the bulk of their diet, making it necessary to change out spent substrate (appears as little dirt balls) with fresh substrate on a regular basis.

 

You'll also want to provide the occasional fresh fruit or leafy greens, as well as Repashy Bug Burger, which provides a much needed source of calcium. Make sure to remove food if it ever becomes moldy. Offering a bit of food once a week or so (in addition to their substrate) is plenty.

 

Sexing: 

Millipedes are much easier to sex than you'd think. Count to the 7th body segment back from the head. If the legs look shorter/odd, you probably have a male on your hands! Males have external gonads (sex organs) instead of legs on their 7th segment.

 

Social Behavior: 

Millipedes do fine when housed in a group. They are not aggressive towards each other - just make sure to provide plenty of substrate, food, and hiding places.

 

Breeding: 

Millipedes are pretty easy to breed. Just leave a male and a female together, and chances are you'll eventually find baby millipedes crawling around in the substrate. Leave the offspring in with their parents - you don't need to be concerned about cannibalism. 

 

Natural Range: 

The Ivory Millipedes is native to northern Florida through South Carolina, along the eastern coast of the USA.

 

Interesting Information:

Remember that millipedes are toxic - never allow young children to handle them unsupervised! As long as millipedes are not eaten and hands are washed after touching millipedes, they're pretty much harmless.

 

Many species will spit up a bit if startled - this can easily dye your skin and take several days to fade.

 

Millipedes also commonly host symbiotic mites that help keep the millipede clean. These mites live on the millipede and eat waste or bits of food that can become caught in the millipede's legs. These mites are harmless, so do not be concerned if you see some!