Certainly centipedes are not cute; nonetheless, there are people who want them as pets, so exotic pet centipedes still deserve the mention. If you’re new to caring for exotic pets, however, it’s best to be cautious about having an exotic pet centipede; the animal can inflict a nasty, painful (some deadly) bite! Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to shop for a pet centipede in the nearest exotic pet supply store.See also:
Centipedes are invertebrates; they don’t have a backbone. They have antennae which they use to sense temperature and movement, and they have a pair of fangs that can inflict a nasty bite to their prey (or to their handler). A lot of centipede species grow from 1.5 to 2 inches, but the largest species, the Scolopendra gigantean, can reach up to 12 inches in length. They have segmented bodies that can have anything from 15 to 191 pairs of legs.
Unlike other invertebrates though, centipedes lack the waxy layer on their exoskeleton. So they are prone to dehydration if they’re not housed well.
Housing Exotic Pet Centipede
Depending on the species, centipedes can either live in the desert or the rain forest. Regardless of the type of climate, however, they always like to live in damp, dark areas under stones, rock crevices, dead logs, or cave.
In your house, exotic pet centipede from arid regions can live in a fish tank with a substrate made of a mixture of play sand and peat moss. Tropical-environment-living exotic pet centipede can have a mixture of peat moss, play sand, and sterilized garden soil as its substrate.
The décor should be a piece of dead log or a rock that allows the centipede to hide under. You can place a blue lamp to light the tank during the night to see your exotic pet in action. After all, centipedes are for sight only; they don’t do well being handled.
Feeding Exotic Pet Centipede
You should consider the size of your centipede when choosing a prey for it. Smaller centipedes can feed on smaller insect prey like crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, meal worms, and moths; larger centipedes can feed on pinkie mice. Regardless of the feeder prey, it’s best to feed your exotic pet only once a week for optimum health. Place a damp sponge on its tank for water.
Exotic Pet Centipede Care
Like most pets with exoskeleton, centipedes grow by molting. You can expect your pet to molt 7-10 times before maturity. If you observe your centipede not feeding and seemingly looking sluggish, maybe it’s about to molt. Don’t introduce prey at this point.
Centipede molting begins by a totally steady animal, a crack on both sides of the head then slowly appears and widens, and the newly molted centipede then crawls out from the old exoskeleton. Some centipede species eat their discarded exoskeleton after molting, so if you’re not constantly checking your exotic pet, you may not know it has molted. It’s important not to introduce feed to your pet if you suspect it has just recently molted.
Giant Centipede’s Deadly Feat
Almost all species of centipedes can inflict a nasty, painful bite, but not all are deadly to humans. Nevertheless, you should avoid centipedes if you’re allergic to bee venom or any other types of insect bites.
One deadly feat of the largest Scolopendra gigantean is to hang from cave ceilings to snatch a flying bat for a quick meal. Watch it and be amaze:
Although the name centipede translates to a hundred legs, no centipede species in the world have exactly 100 legs… unless you take 1 pair of legs out. You see, all centipede species have odd number pair of legs: that is to say a species may have 17 pairs or 51 pairs of legs, never 50 pairs of legs. That means you can’t find a centipede that has exactly 100 legs!