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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using locally collected beech mulch for my millipedes and fruit and often find tiny orange centipedes running about in it.

Does anyone know if these could be harmful to my inverts?

I'm hoping to use this same substrate for my tarantulas as I have it well seeded with woodlice and springtails which helps prevent mould and fungus but I'm worried they might harm the tarantulas during moulting.

Anyone know anything about those tiny native centipedes and whether they're as predatory as their larger relatives?
 

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to be honest i wouldnt risk it. its probably riddled with mites. just use the standard coir.

or on the other hand you could wash it down and cook it in the oven then rehydrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The two I'm using it for are an avicularia and a curly hair that need moderately higher humidity than the arid species and coir is prone to mould if it's damp for more than a few days. I'd rather have a cage with a few mites than a dead spider cause of mould. And mites only become an issue at high humidity and when there is rotten fruit or veg in the tank

The springtails and woodlice do very well on the beech mulch and it means that if I miss any left over cricket remains they'll be eaten before they mould.

It's the centipedes I want to know about. Not interested in a long debate about substrate, I've always favoured bioactive substrates over sterile ones as they are much more stable in the long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also for anyone reading this and considering baking collected substrate in the oven. DO NOT EVER DO THAT. It is a death sentence for any species sensitive to mould as you destroy the natural balance of bacteria in the soil meaning that fungus or mould can then take hold very quickly!
 

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I sometimes get centipedes in the leafmould I use in my frog vivs- on the whole they don't do any harm, and in the case of the frogs, usually get eaten sooner or later- which won't apply to your millipedes of course, but the centipedes shhould be too small to threaten them in any case. As to the possibilities of mites etc, it's a calculated risk- to my mind, the benefits of 'live' unsterilised leafmould as part of a bioactive set-up outway the risks- but everyone has to weigh that for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I must admit I'm a little worried they might eat the eggs of my fruit beetles but as long as the don't make a dent in the colony it's not an issue and they're quite interesting to watch especially the pale orange ones that change shape like worms.

My main worry is when my tarantulas moult they might pose a risk in the same way that crickets do. As they tend to stay below the surface I'm probably just being overly cautious but it would be nice to know If any one has ever had any problems from them.
 

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Are they small, wire like ones?

Those are probably OK with anything larger than they are; they will eat mites, springtails and such.

Unless you are keeping spiderlings in with them, I can't see any reason to expect they'd be a danger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There seems to be 2 types. One is quite dark orange, max length about 1.5 cm and 1mm wide.

The other I see quite often are extraordinary creatures. They're about 1mm wide and change length and stretch from about 2 cm up to around 5 cm as they move around. They have quite long antenna and are very light orange.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd read before about them eating mites so as long as they don't burrow into my fruit beetle cells or chew on a moulting tarantula they could be useful. Thanks for reminding me.

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Surely the centipedes will eat the woodlice and springtails? If so your cleaners will be eliminated.
What is the benefit of having the centipedes in the enclosure?
What specific mould, fungus, etc are you worried about that wouldn't be part of the normal fauna of a rainforest?
 

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Surely the centipedes will eat the woodlice and springtails? If so your cleaners will be eliminated.
What is the benefit of having the centipedes in the enclosure?
What specific mould, fungus, etc are you worried about that wouldn't be part of the normal fauna of a rainforest?
I'd be surprised if Geophilomorph centipedes could annihilate a population of springtails or mites.

The dark orange, stocky one is likely a juvenile Lithobius - common centipede spp.

I'd remove them and rehouse them outside - or keep them as fascinating pets. No need to kill anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There's no way a 2cm centipede could make any kind of dent in a colony of 1000s of Springtails.

As for mould risks, google sudden avicularia death.

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Sudden Avicularia Death is a made up term, created by people who had bad husbandry but preferred to put it down to something other than themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sudden Avicularia Death is a made up term, created by people who had bad husbandry but preferred to put it down to something other than themselves.
My point exactly!

And I would think that a lot of those deaths are due to mould caused by keeping them at high humidity with poor ventilation especially with slings that are being sprayed cause they're too small for a water bowl.

Hopefully Springtails and woodlice will provide an extra safety net.

I caught my A. Mettalica drinking from the waterbowl yesterday after only 2 days in her new home, so it looks like I'll be able to keep her relatively dry anyway :)
 

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My point exactly!

And I would think that a lot of those deaths are due to mould caused by keeping them at high humidity with poor ventilation especially with slings that are being sprayed cause they're too small for a water bowl.

Hopefully Springtails and woodlice will provide an extra safety net.
If that is the case, then mould is a symptom of stale, humid air - not the cause of the death itself.

Therefore, adding springtails is not going to change the conditions of the enclosure if it is too humid and stagnant. Get what I mean?

I'm not a fan of these abbreviations anyway - sudden avic death, diskinetic syndrome, etc. "Incorrect husbandry" is a much better term that forces you down the right path - correcting the conditions - whilst "syndromes" just place the blame at the feet of somewhere/someone else. Not doing anything to advance the state of husbandry.
 

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mould is not the killer. Ive visited both the Sri Lankan rainforests and trekked through northern Thailand rainforest. Mould, fungus and god knows what else is a natural part of the environment. However, you don't have to travel so far. Take yourself down to your local woods, you'll see moss growing on trees, fungus growing from fallen trees, mould around holes in the trees, and yet you'll also see an abundance of invertebrates, including spiders.
Your conclusion therefore isn't quite correct. Mould is a consequence of lack of ventilation, Avics dieing is often a consequence of ventilation. That doesn't necessitate that mould kills Avics.
 
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