Cherry Foot Millipede

Scientific NameInformation
Common NameCherry Foot Millipede
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan5-8 years
Adult Size3-6 inches (7.5-15 cm)
DietHerbivore/Decomposer
OriginTropical and subtropical regions
TemperamentDocile

History & Domestication

The Cherry Foot Millipede is not as universally recognized as some other millipede species, but it has still managed to carve out its niche within the exotic pet community. Characterized by its unique cherry-red legs contrasting with its darker body, it stands out among the millipede family. Originating from tropical and subtropical regions, this millipede was traditionally an integral part of its ecosystem, aiding in decomposition and soil health.

In recent decades, the pet trade has seen a rise in the demand for invertebrates, leading to the inclusion of unique species like the Cherry Foot Millipede. Though not exactly “domesticated” in the traditional sense, these creatures have been integrated into household settings as captivating pets.

Size

Adult Cherry Foot Millipedes tend to range between 3-6 inches in length, although this can vary based on factors like genetics and environmental conditions. This size range is fairly standard for many millipede species, making them manageable for most enthusiasts.

Lifespan

With optimal care and a suitable environment, Cherry Foot Millipedes can live for anywhere between 5 to 8 years. Regular monitoring and proper habitat maintenance can ensure that these creatures reach the higher end of their lifespan potential.

Breeding

Breeding practices for the Cherry Foot Millipede are comparable to other millipede species. After mating, the females deposit their eggs in the substrate, which hatch into smaller versions of the adult form. These juvenile millipedes undergo multiple molting stages, gradually growing into their full size over time.

Unique Features

The defining feature of the Cherry Foot Millipede is its striking leg coloration. The bright cherry-red or sometimes even orange legs contrast beautifully against its dark-colored body segments. This feature not only makes them visually appealing but also aids in their identification among the myriad of millipede species.

Behavior and Temperament

Cherry Foot Millipedes are generally calm and docile creatures, although they might be a bit more skittish compared to some other millipede species. They are primarily nocturnal, becoming most active under the veil of darkness or dim light, during which they scavenge for food and explore their surroundings.

Handling

While they are non-aggressive, it’s always a good rule of thumb to limit handling to prevent undue stress or potential injury to the millipede. Regular, gentle handling can get them accustomed to human interaction, but always ensure that the environment is calm, and movements are deliberate and unhurried.

Grooming Needs

Millipedes don’t require traditional grooming. However, the habitat of Cherry Foot Millipedes must be periodically cleaned and maintained. This includes removal of waste, uneaten food, and ensuring that the substrate remains moist but not excessively damp.

Diet & Nutrition

Being decomposers, Cherry Foot Millipedes have a preference for decaying organic matter. This includes decomposing leaves, wood, and plant matter. In captivity, their diet can be supplemented with fruits, vegetables, and even calcium sources to ensure optimal health.

Temperature

Cherry Foot Millipedes thrive best in temperatures ranging from 72°F to 80°F (22°C to 27°C). Humidity levels should be maintained around 70-80% to replicate the conditions of their native tropical and subtropical habitats.

Common Health Issues

Overly wet or dry environments can lead to health issues. Mites can sometimes pose a problem, often an indication of too much moisture in their habitat. Proper diet and habitat cleanliness are crucial to prevent bacterial and fungal infections.

Habitat Requirements

A terrarium or similar enclosure with adequate depth for burrowing is essential. A substrate mixture of organic soil, coconut coir, and decomposed leaf litter is ideal. Additional features like wood or bark can provide hiding and climbing spots, contributing to their overall well-being.

Cost of Care

The initial setup, including the terrarium and necessary substrate and decor, is the primary cost. Their dietary needs are relatively low-cost, considering they primarily consume decomposing organic matter. Occasional substrate changes, additions to their diet, and potential veterinary care should also be factored into the ongoing cost of care. However, in general, Cherry Foot Millipedes are relatively affordable to maintain as pets.