African Giant Black Millipedes
(Spirostreptida: Spirostreptidae)

African Giant Black Millipedes are large, slow moving, and extremely docile arthropods. These animals are easy to care for because, as scavengers, they eat just about anything (they especially love cucumber). When frightened, they will curl up in a ball. Millipedes secrete a defensive liquid from their exoskeleton, so it is a good idea to wash your hands after handing them. Due to their docile nature, millipedes can live in groups of various sizes.


Captive Requirements

Housing: Cage size depends on number and size of millipedes;
I have a a 66 L mixed millipede and cockroach tank,
but 10 to 20 L is sufficient for a few
Communal: Yes; can also be housed with roaches
Diet: Fruit, veggies, bread, fish food, etc.
Substrate: Plenty of soil and moss to allow burrowing
Decor: Cork bark, plants, food & water dishes
Temperature: 23.9 to 29.4 C (75 to 85 F)
Humidity: Moderately high, keep substrate damp
Temperament: Docile
Considerations: The perfect pet for a first-time arthropod owner


Trill died in June 2003.

I got Trill in January 2001. Measuring about 23 cm at the time of purchase, Trill is most likely an Archispirostreptus gigas, but millipede taxonomy is not well understood. This friendly and calm animal has since attained a length of almost 28 cm! Trill spends a lot of time rolled up in a ball and it takes her a while to unroll if taken out. She has approximately 254 legs with prickly little feet. 

Feb. 26, 2001 Mar. 25, 2001
May 2002 Nov. 29, 2002


UPDATE!!!! Spiro's babies have had babies!!! Born in the fall of 2005!!!!!

Spiro died in early 2003.

A year after getting Trill (January 2002), I decided to get her a friend. Spiro is smaller than Trill (about 17 cm) and less shy. She was sold under the name Lophostreptus rutilans; however, she looks just like a smaller version of Trill. Like I mentioned, little is known of millipede taxonomy. In September 2002, Spiro gave birth to tiny baby millipedes (I counted 42 on Nov. 17)! I actually don't know for sure if they are hers, but she had babies at the pet store before I got her, so she must have been carrying sperm. Both of my pedes are females, so they couldn't belong to the two of them.

Mar. 10, 2002 May 2002

***Group pics***

Spiro (top) and Trill Spiro (L) and Trill
May 2002
Babies and Trill Nov. 17, 2002
Some babies are upside down
because I took the pic on my scanner
May 24, 2003: The babies are growing!
May 24, 2003: Lotsalegs!

Copyright 2001-2005 By Emily Tenczar



African Giant Black Millipede caresheet (Petbugs)

Captive Care and Breeding of the Giant Millipede Scaphiostreptus parilis acuticonus Attems (Bullington)