Centipede Care Guide

Simple Guide For Keeping Your Centipede

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HOUSING

ENCLOSURE

  • Plastic or Glass terrariums, containers and tubs can all make suitable enclosures.
  • The lid must be tight fitting as centipedes are excellent escape artists.
  • Centipedes do not require deep substrate, only enough to conceal themselves in is required
  • Cross ventilation is important when keeping centipedes as too much moisture may cause them to develop mycosis. 

SAFETY

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF BITTERN

While Australian Centipede venom is not fatal it is potent and may cause severe effects (envenomations).

SAFETY

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF BITTERN

While Australian Centipede venom is not fatal it is potent and may cause severe effects (envenomations).

SUBSTRATE

 COIR PEAT AND SPHAGNUM MOSS

  • Coir peat mixed with sand in an 80/20 ratio is recommended as it holds burrows well.
  • Leaves, twigs and bark can be scattered across the surface to provide the centipede with structure to hide in and ambush its prey from, like in the wild.

MOISTER

 NOT TOO DAMP, NOT TOO DRY

Moisture must be present in the centipede’s enclosure. Moisture can be provided with moist substrate. The substrate must be wet enough to clump together when compacted but not so wet it releases excess water when squeezed. The tarantula’s enclosure can also be misted weekly to help maintain humidity.

MOISTER

 NOT TOO DAMP, NOT TOO DRY

Moisture must be present in the centipede’s enclosure. Moisture can be provided with moist substrate. The substrate must be wet enough to clump together when compacted but not so wet it releases excess water when squeezed. The tarantula’s enclosure can also be misted weekly to help maintain humidity.

REHOMING

TRANSFERRING YOUR CENTIPEDE TO A NEW HOME

  1. Place the container in a larger tub to contain the event of an escape.
  2. Have a back-up catch cup nearby in case it needs to be re-captured.
  3. Gently dig up its existing burrow, taking caution not to injure it.
  4. To rehome your centipede, gently dig it up, taking caution not to injure it.
  5. Coax it into smaller container and gently place it in its new home.
  6. Providing structure for it to immediately settle in will make it fill safe and reduce the chance of it running back out.
  7. Quickly close lid of container to prevent escape

VENTILATION

 ALLOW FOR AIRFLOW

  • Centipedes require cross ventilation
  • Centipedes can be sensitive to very high moisture levels and mould, extended exposure may cause mycosis
  •  It is important to ensure there is sufficient air flow in the enclosure.
  • Too much ventilation may cause the substrate to dry out.
  • Keeping one end of the enclosure moist provides a moisture gradient which will allow the animal to choose the optimum moisture level.

TEMPERATURE

NOT TO HOT, NOT TO COLD

  • Ideally, centipedes should be kept at room temperature, around 21-25 degrees. During the winter they may feed less and activity will slow. During this time they can tolerate lower temperatures.
  • During the winter they may feed less and activity will slow, during this time they can tolerate lower temperatures. 
  • Cannot kept below 14 degrees or above 28 degrees for long periods of time.
  • Keep your centipede out of direct sunlight.
  • Never directly heat the enclosure, if you live in a colder region, heat the room.

MOULTING

CENTIPEDE’S MOULT OFTEN TO GROW

 
  • Centipedes moult periodically to grow. Before they moult they will cease eating and may exhibit lethargic behaviour. 
  • After moulting centipedes eat their shed so do not remove it from their enclosure. 
  • They will require up to a week for their exoskeleton to harden before they start eating again.
  • Once they start eating again they will be very hungry and feed voraciously.
  • For larger centipedes, pre-moult and post-moult tend to take much longer.

VENTILATION

 ALLOW FOR AIRFLOW

  • Centipedes require cross ventilation
  • Centipedes can be sensitive to very high moisture levels and mould, extended exposure may cause mycosis
  •  It is important to ensure there is sufficient air flow in the enclosure.
  • Too much ventilation may cause the substrate to dry out.
  • Keeping one end of the enclosure moist provides a moisture gradient which will allow the animal to choose the optimum moisture level.

FEEDING

GENERALLY 1-3 TIMES PER WEEK

  • Feeding is required every week, smaller individuals tend to eat more frequently. 
  • Monitor your centipedes behaviour to look for signs they might be hungry. 
  • Sitting on the surface with its antennae spread out or submerged in the substrate with only its antennae exposed, are signs it is hungry.
  • Food can include wood roaches, crickets and mealworms, although crickets are the most popular choice.
    It is advisable the prey is no larger than half the size of the spider.
  • Centipedes are omnivorous and can occasionally be fed fruit such as mango and banana to provide them a mixed diet.
  • If the live insect is not eaten overnight it is best to remove It the next day.

TEMPERATURE

NOT TOO HOT, NOT TOO COLD

  • Ideally, centipedes should be kept at room temperature, around 21-25 degrees. During the winter they may feed less and activity will slow. During this time they can tolerate lower temperatures.
  • During the winter they may feed less and activity will slow, during this time they can tolerate lower temperatures. 
  • Cannot kept below 14 degrees or above 28 degrees for long periods of time.
  • Keep your centipede out of direct sunlight.
  • Never directly heat the enclosure, if you live in a colder region, heat the room.

LIFESPAN

HOW LONG DO TARANTULAS LIVE?

Most centipede species will live for about 5-10 years. Some species are more long-lived than others such as E.rubripes. 

MOULTING

CENTIPEDE’S MOULT OFTEN TO GROW

  • Centipedes moult periodically to grow. Before they moult they will cease eating and may exhibit lethargic behaviour. 
  • After moulting centipedes eat their shed so do not remove it from their enclosure. 
  • They will require up to a week for their exoskeleton to harden before they start eating again.
  • Once they start eating again they will be very hungry and feed voraciously.
  • For larger centipedes, pre-moult and post-moult tend to take much longer.