My Pets: Giant African Millipedes

The Midland Entomological Fayre is held twice yearly and is a great friendly show for all ages. There is a huge amount of livestock / dried and mounted specimens of butterflies, moths, tarantulas, beetles, stick insects etc as well as books and equipment. There is a host of well recognised traders and collectors as well as some new traders at each show so come along and have a great day out.” [source]

Last time I visited the Midland Entomological Fayre I brought home Gamora the Praying Mantis, and this time I was visiting this fayre with the full intention of picking up new Fluffy Jellyfish family members…


Meet Onyx, Spinel, Jet, & Obsidian!!!


They are Giant African Millipedes (Archispirostreptus gigas), and I am so in love with them already! While we have given them names, I will admit that I can’t actually tell them apart!! but I still thought it was important to give them names… they can just be interchangeable! So far, I can only tell one of them apart, because they are smaller than the rest, and I have decided that one is Onyx, and is my favourite so far… because Onyx is the only one who doesn’t poop on me when I pick them up!!!

The Giant African Millipede species is fairly hardy, and easy for the beginner invertebrate keeper to take care of, which is why we picked them… and also because of how cool they are!!
This species of millipede is is the largest, and they typically grow to between 7.5 and 11 inches in length. Despite their names, millipedes don’t actually have 1,000 legs, but an individual Giant African Millipede may have 30 to 40 body segments, with 4 legs per segment, so their leg counts can range from 36 to an amazing 400!! Once our little dudes are more used to being handled, and stop curling up when we touch them, I really want to count each of their legs to see how many they have… maybe a task that is easier said than done I think…

We have housed our millipeds in an Exo Terra Medium Wide, with a good layer of substrate, and a partially bio-active setup with some big branches for them to climb on, and some fake plants for decoration. I eventually would like to make their enclosure fully bio-active, with live plants, but I am currently practising my plant care on pot plants! before branching out into something more complicated like a living vivarium!! If you have any tips, tricks, and information about setting up bio-active enclosures, and cultivating a green thumb, do let me know in the comments below please!!

I am really excited to have these leggy little dudes, and I will be sharing lots of updates of their progress in the Fluffy Jellyfish family… so be sure to subscribe! and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, if you have not done that yet, to keep up with the millipedes’ stories…

Did you know? Giant African Millipedes are nocturnal. They eat leaf litter, fallen fruits, and various forms of ground debris… so think of them as the late-night janitorial staff of the forest floor!


Fluffy Jellyfish out.

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