A giant African millipede in someone's hands.
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Do Giant African Millipedes Make Good Pets?

When it comes to exotic pets, giant African millipedes often pique the interest of many enthusiasts. Known for their docile nature and unique appearance, these millipedes can be a fascinating addition to your home. But, are they good pets?

A Gentle Giant

The giant African millipede,(Archispirostreptus gigas), is one of the largest millipedes in the world. They can grow up to 11 inches in length and live 7-10 years. These gentle giants are known for their calm temperament and slow-moving behavior, making them a popular choice among beginners in the exotic pet world.

Each segment in their bodies have two pairs of legs. And with 50-60 body segments they have approximately 256 legs (not the 1,000 legs that people might think).

Easy to Care For

One of the biggest advantages of having a giant African millipede as a pet is their ease of care. They require a simple habitat that mimics their natural environment, which includes a substrate for burrowing, a source of moisture, and a diet consisting of decaying plant material. A secure tank with regulated humidity and a warm light source is all you need to keep your millipede happy.

They do best with temperatures in the 75°F-84°F range, warmer than most homes’ room temperature. A drop to 64°F-68°F at night is recommended. A laser temperature gun or stick-on thermometer will help you keep your new pet in the ideal temperature range. Use light from above and not heat rocks because the millipede could get burned as they are attracted to the heat.

Get a laser temperature gun today.

Humidity should be between 60%-80%. You will need to spritz them with a spray bottle a couple times a day. There are humidity gauges for just this job that you can stick on the glass to make sure your enclosure is in the optimum humidity range.

Reptile cage hygrometer with a baby bearded dragon.

Get a hygrometer that shows temperature and humidity.

You can sex giant African millipedes by looking at the seventh body segment. If there are no legs present in that segment, you have a male. If legs are present, it’s a female. They can be kept in small groups if there is enough space in the enclosure. Beware! They are prolific breeders. You may find yourself with lots of millipedes.

Handling and Interaction

Giant African millipedes are tolerant of handling and are quite docile. They can be safely handled and are known to get along well with others of their kind, so you can keep more than one in the same tank. However, it’s important to wash your hands after handling them, as they can emit a toxic substance when alarmed.

The Verdict

All in all, giant African millipedes can make great pets, especially for those who are new to caring for non-native species. They are low maintenance, have a long lifespan, and their calm nature makes them suitable for families and individuals alike. If you’re looking for a pet that’s out of the ordinary but still easy to care for, the giant African millipede might just be the perfect choice for you. If you decide to welcome one into your home, remember to provide them with the proper care and environment they need to thrive.

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