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Friend or Foe? Found a millipede in my tank

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  • Friend or Foe? Found a millipede in my tank

    Hi everyone,

    I recently set up a live vivarium for one of my cresties and this morning I found a millipede walking on the surface of the substrate. I immediately removed it and it is currently in a small container. I am not sure if this little guy is safe to keep in the tank or if it could be dangerous. I know that millipedes are good decomposers, so it could be an asset to my tank (assuming there is more than one in there). If the millipede is an issue, I am not sure how I would rid the tank of them. My gecko has not yet moved in, so there is currently no danger to him. Your opinions would be greatly appreciated!

    Also, I am sure it is a millipede and not a centipede because it rolled into a 'ball' when I picked it up with tweezers and it has two pairs of legs per body segment. It is a yellowish brown and is approximately 1.5cm long. I am including an image of the mystery millipede as well. It would be really cool if anyone out there can identify the species of the millipede.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Unidentified Millipede.jpg
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    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I honestly have no idea, but if it were me, I'd remove it and all of them. Don't want to take the chance.
    .1.DOG Jiggles
    1.1.CRESTED GECKO Phantom & Lovely
    .1.YBST Cloveth
    .1.MINIPIG Judy(food&belly rub is kinda apig deal)
    1..RAT CoconutRatMinneapolis RIP


    • #3
      "While millipedes are not known to transmit diseases or infest food, almost all millipedes are equipped with defensive mechanisms to keep predators such as birds at bay. If disturbed or threatened, millipedes will usually coil up until the danger has passed. However, millipedes can also activate glands that secrete or even spray a foul-smelling, acidic toxin. This substance can produce burning, irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals."
      1.0.0 Scorgi "Winston"1.1.0 Cats "Mr. Mustache, Daenerys"1.1.0 Mountain Horned Dragons "Charles, Charlotte"
      2.0.0 Bearded Dragons "Mushu, Thorn" Crested Geckos "Noctis, LunaFreya, Artemis, Pandora"
      More fish than I care to count including clown fish, damselfish, angelfish, gourami, loaches and cichlids.


      • #4
        Thank you Kat and Sareena for the replies. I think the millipede was a hitchhiker on one of the plants I had bought from a nursery. The issue is that I am not sure if this is the only one in the tank. I have no idea how to start removing or killing the millipedes that may or may not still be in the tank. I have already planted the entire tank and have seeded it with dwarf white isopods and springtails. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have been watching the tank carefully for any new millipedes to crop up, but so far nothing. They are so small and camouflage so well I don't think I'd ever be able to find them in the soil just by digging through it.