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Bumblebee Millipedes (Anadenobolus monilicornis) Juvenile / Adult

Bumblebee Millipedes (Anadenobolus monilicornis) Juvenile / Adult

A. monilicornis are a smaller species with adults growing to lengths between 7-10cm and can be identified by the contrasting black/ dark brown and yellow bands on each body segment, and pinkish legs and antennae. Both male and females are monomorphic, meaning they look the same, but can easily be sexed when they are a third of their adult size, by observing the underside of the seventh body segment. Females will have two pairs of legs on every body segment, but males will have small stump-like appendages called gonopods instead of a pair of legs. Bumblebee millipedes are native to the Caribbean islands but have since been introduced to southeast United States, particularly Florida, through the exotic plant industry. Bumblebee millipedes spend most of their time living in the substrate, consuming rotting wood and leaf litter and occasionally can be seen exploring the tank.

 

Like other millipedes when threatened, they will curl themselves up where the head, underside, and legs are protected by the hard exoskeleton, and can excrete a yellow toxic substance containing cyanide that can be an irritant to sensitive skin, so always wash your hands before and after handling. This secretion is believed to deter potential predators in the wild, but there have been documentations of certain wild birds and monkeys crushing these millipedes and using the secretions as an insect repellent! Only handle these millipedes if they are already above ground and let them walk onto your hand, NEVER pull the millipede off a surface or search through the substrate! Disturbing a millipede whilst molting can damage them and be potentially fatal.

 

These millipedes will do well in a glass or plastic vivarium with ample ventilation that is at least three times the body size in width and two times the body size in depth. These are one of the more sought-after species in the trade because of their bright colouration, docile nature, and small size, making them ideal for the beginner hobbyist!

 

Adult size: 7-10cm

Lifespan: 7 years

Status: captive bred

Place of Origin: native to Caribbean islands, spread to Southeast USA Temperature: 22-28˚C

Humidity: 60-80%

Diet: Hardwood leaf litter (oak, beech, hazel etc), rotten hardwood, flake soil, organic topsoil, sphagnum moss, lichen, mushrooms, variety of fruit and vegetables (favourites include cucumber, squash, apple, and banana), sepia/ calcium supplement (optional), protein source (shrimp pellets, dried mealworms)

  • We like keeping A. monilicornis between 22-23˚C and 70-80% humidity for best results.

 

  • We suggest keeping the substrate damp (not soaking!) by misting when the top layer of substrate is dry, and provide plenty of cork bark or natural bark pieces, leaf litter, moss, and hardwood branches with lichen.

 

  • We house our millipedes with springtails in a 40x30x30cm tank, which holds a deep layer of substrate and provides enough floor space for all inhabitants. You want to house any millipede with a substrate that is at least the same length as the largest millipede in depth, and twice the millipedes length in floor space. We always double this just to make sure every millipede has plenty of space, as they do spend a lot of time under the ground! Remember that is just for substrate, and you will need an extra 10cm minimum for above ground decoration. 

 

  • When it comes to substrate, make sure you use a high-quality substrate that is full of white rotting hardwood and leaf litter as the food component, and organic topsoil, mushroom compost and moss. We recommend using our Premium Millipede Edible Substrate or something with similar high quality ingredients. The substrate should never have to be fully replenished, and we simply spot clean and provide more food component substrate, rotting wood and leaf litter when needed which is around every 4-6 months

 

  • Supplement their diet with a good quality protein source like shrimp pellets for optimal health. Like many invertebrates one of their favourites is cucumber which we provide in slices and replace once completely eaten. Many breeders suggest providing fresh fruit/ veg and protein once every 2-3 weeks, but we find that millipedes will readily take these food sources once a week.

 

  • Although millipedes prefer dark, damp conditions, it is important to maintain a regular 12-hour light cycle by placing the tank near a light source, such as another tank with an LED light, but never in direct sunlight as this will heat your tank to deadly temperatures. You can place a heat mat on the side of the tank, never the bottom, if your home is kept on the cool side.

 

  • We often see our millipedes out during the day walking on cork bark, lichen branches and exploring their tank, so it is important to make the tank enriching and stimulating for your millipedes. The happier your millipedes are, the more rewarding they become as pet invertebrates!
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