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Discover the Captivating World of Giant African Millipedes: Care Feeding and More!

Introduction to Giant African Millipedes

If you’re looking for an exotic pet that is easy to care for and fascinating to observe, then look no further than the Giant African millipede. These incredible creatures are not only unique, but they also make great additions to any home or classroom.

In this article, we will delve into the world of Giant African millipedes, exploring their description and characteristics, as well as the different species that exist. We will also discuss the housing and habitat requirements for these millipedes, providing you with the knowledge you need to create the perfect environment for your new pet.

So, let’s jump right in and discover the amazing world of Giant African millipedes!

Description and Characteristics of Giant African Millipedes

Giant African millipedes, also known as exotic species, are truly captivating creatures. They are native to the tropical regions of Africa and are well-known for their large size and impressive appearance.

These millipedes can grow up to 10 inches in length, with their body covered in segmented, cylindrical segments. Each segment has two pairs of legs, giving them the illusion of having countless legs.

One of the most fascinating features of Giant African millipedes is their ability to release a noxious liquid when threatened. This toxic secretion, known as hydrogen cyanide, acts as a powerful deterrent to potential predators.

However, it’s important to note that while this defense mechanism may be effective against predators, it is not harmful to humans.

Species of Giant African Millipedes

There are several species of Giant African millipedes, each with its own unique characteristics. One popular species is the African giant black millipede, which has a dark black coloration and is known for its large size.

Another species is the Giant African millipede, which is slightly smaller than the African giant black millipede but shares similar characteristics. Lastly, we have the Ghana Chocolate millipede, which gets its name from its rich chocolate brown coloration.

Housing and Habitat for Giant Millipedes

Creating the Proper Environment

When it comes to housing and habitat, Giant African millipedes have specific requirements that need to be met. Firstly, these millipedes need to be housed in a terrarium that provides enough space for them to move around comfortably.

A wide tank with plenty of floor space is ideal. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the terrarium has proper ventilation to maintain a healthy environment.

Substrate is another crucial aspect of a millipede’s habitat. These creatures thrive in a damp environment, so it’s essential to provide a substrate that retains moisture.

Coconut fiber or a mixture of peat moss and soil can be used as a substrate. Make sure to keep the substrate moist but not saturated to avoid mold growth.

Maintaining the proper moisture level is essential for the well-being of Giant African millipedes. Regular misting of the terrarium can help maintain the required humidity.

Additionally, placing a shallow dish of water in the tank allows the millipedes to drink and replenish their moisture levels as needed.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Routine maintenance and cleaning of the terrarium are essential to provide a healthy environment for your millipedes. Remove any old, uneaten food from the terrarium as it can attract pests and lead to bacterial growth.

Also, clean out any waste regularly to prevent odor buildup. To clean the terrarium, start by removing any uneaten food, waste, and shed exoskeletons.

Then, replace the substrate if necessary and wipe down the walls of the tank with a mild soap solution. Rinse everything thoroughly, making sure not to leave any soap residue behind.

Finally, add fresh substrate and return your millipedes to their clean home.


In conclusion, Giant African millipedes are fascinating creatures that provide a unique and low-maintenance pet option. With their impressive size and distinctive characteristics, they can be a great conversation starter and educational tool.

By creating the proper housing and habitat, you can ensure the health and happiness of your millipedes. With regular maintenance and cleaning, you can provide a clean and comfortable environment for these incredible creatures.

So, if you’re ready for a pet that will captivate your attention and spark your curiosity, consider welcoming a Giant African millipede into your home.

Feeding Giant Millipedes

When it comes to feeding Giant African millipedes, it’s crucial to provide them with a diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. These fascinating creatures are classified as herbivores, meaning they primarily feed on plant material.

In this section, we will explore the diet of Giant Millipedes, as well as suggested supplements and treats to ensure optimal health and well-being.

Diet of Giant Millipedes

As herbivores, Giant African millipedes enjoy feasting on a variety of decaying plant material. This can include fallen leaves, rotting wood, and decomposing fruit.

It’s important to note that they prefer plant matter in the process of decomposition rather than fresh, green foliage. In the wild, they play a significant role in breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem.

To provide a balanced diet for these millipedes, it’s recommended to offer a combination of leaf litter, such as oak or maple leaves, along with pieces of rotting wood. Ensure that the wood is free from any harmful chemicals or preservatives, as these can be toxic to the millipedes.

Additionally, fruits such as apples or bananas can be provided occasionally as a source of moisture and additional nutrients.

Supplements and Treats

While Giant African millipedes can obtain most of their required nutrients from their diet of decaying plant material, there are a few supplements and treats that can be added to enhance their overall health. One common supplement is cuttlebone, which is a natural source of calcium.

Providing a small piece of cuttlebone in the terrarium allows the millipedes to nibble on it as needed, ensuring they receive enough calcium for strong exoskeleton growth. If you’re looking for additional treats for your millipedes, some pet shops may offer specially formulated millipede food or treat options.

These treats can provide additional variety and nutrition for your millipedes, but they should be used sparingly and in conjunction with their natural diet.

Pros and Cons of Owning Giant African Millipedes

Now that we’ve covered the care and feeding requirements of Giant African millipedes, let’s dive into the pros and cons of owning these unique creatures as pets. By understanding both the benefits and considerations, you can make an informed decision about whether Giant African millipedes are the right pet for you.

Benefits of Owning Giant African Millipedes

One of the main benefits of owning Giant African millipedes is that they are relatively easy to care for. Compared to other exotic pets, they require minimal maintenance, making them suitable for owners with busy lifestyles or those who are new to pet ownership.

Additionally, their natural behaviors and distinct appearance make them an excellent showcase species, whether in a home or educational setting. Another advantage of owning Giant African millipedes is that they serve as unique educational tools.

They provide an opportunity to learn about the natural world and the role that decomposers play in the ecosystem. Children and adults alike can gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of nature by observing and caring for these fascinating creatures.

Considerations and Risks

While there are many benefits to owning Giant African millipedes, it’s essential to also consider the potential risks and challenges associated with their care. One consideration is the millipedes’ ability to secrete a noxious liquid when threatened.

Although this defense mechanism is harmless to humans, it can cause temporary skin irritation or allergies in some individuals. Therefore, it’s important to handle Giant African millipedes with care and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

Another potential risk is that millipedes, like any living creature, can be susceptible to illness or disease. If you notice any signs of abnormal behavior, changes in appetite, or physical abnormalities, it’s important to seek veterinary care from a professional experienced in treating exotic species.


In conclusion, feeding Giant African millipedes a diet of decaying plant material is essential to their health and well-being. By providing a combination of leaf litter, rotting wood, and occasional fruits, you can meet their nutritional needs.

Supplements like cuttlebone can also be added to ensure adequate calcium intake. When considering owning Giant African millipedes, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits, such as minimal maintenance and educational value, against the considerations, including potential allergies and the risk of illness.

With proper care and attention, these unique creatures can make captivating and low-maintenance pets.

Different Types of Giant Millipedes That Can Make Great Pets

In addition to the popular Giant African millipede, there are several other species of giant millipedes that can make fascinating and unique pets. From the colorful Thai Rainbow millipede to the striking Flame Leg millipede, these species offer a wide range of options for millipede enthusiasts.

In this section, we will explore the availability and legal considerations surrounding non-native species and discuss some other types of giant millipedes that can be kept as pets.

Availability and Legal Considerations

When considering the acquisition of a non-native species of giant millipede, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations surrounding the ownership and importation of exotic animals. Different countries and even regions within countries may have specific rules in place to safeguard against the introduction of potentially invasive species.

If you’re looking to obtain a non-native species, it’s essential to research whether it is legal to do so in your area. Contact local wildlife or animal control agencies to inquire about the specific rules and regulations governing the importation and ownership of exotic millipedes.

It’s important to respect these laws and only obtain millipedes from reputable sources to ensure both the legality and ethical sourcing of your pets.

Other Giant Millipede Species

1. Thai Rainbow Millipede: The Thai Rainbow millipede (Chicobolus spinigerus) is a visually stunning species that originates from Thailand.

It is known for its vibrant array of colors, including shades of red, orange, yellow, and green along its body segments. The Thai Rainbow millipede can reach lengths of around 4 inches and requires a similar habitat and diet as the Giant African millipede.

2. Flame Leg Millipede: The Flame Leg millipede (Narceus gordanus) is a native species of eastern North America.

It gets its name from the distinctive bright orange or red coloration on its legs. These millipedes can reach lengths of up to 5 inches and are relatively easy to care for.

Their diet consists of decaying plant material, similar to other giant millipede species. 3.

Sonoran Desert Millipede: The Sonoran Desert millipede (Orthoporus ornatus) is found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. This species has a striking appearance, with a dark body and yellowish bands encircling its segments.

With a length of up to 5.5 inches, they are one of the larger millipede species available as pets. They thrive in a desert-like habitat and require a diet of decaying organic matter.

4. Bumblebee Millipede: The Bumblebee millipede (Anadenobolus monilicornis) is native to the Caribbean and makes a unique addition to a millipede collection.

It gets its name from its distinctive black and yellow striped appearance, resembling a bumblebee. These millipedes prefer a tropical environment with moderate humidity levels and a diet of leaf litter and decaying plant material.

5. Ivory Millipede: The Ivory millipede (Chondromorpha cassanguinea) is a visually striking species originating from Peru.

As the name suggests, it features a creamy white body with contrasting dark stripes along its segments. These millipedes grow to around 4 inches in length and appreciate a humidity-rich environment.

Their diet consists of a mixture of decaying plant material and fruits. 6.

North American Giant Millipede: The North American Giant millipede (Narceus americanus) is one of the largest millipedes found in North America. It can grow up to 4.5 inches long and showcases a beautiful combination of black and reddish-brown coloration.

Native to the eastern United States, this species thrives in a terrarium with a moist substrate and a diet of decaying plant material.


In conclusion, there are various types of giant millipedes that can make captivating pets. If you are interested in acquiring a non-native species, it’s important to research and adhere to the local laws and regulations governing the ownership and importation of exotic millipedes.

The Thai Rainbow millipede, Flame Leg millipede, Sonoran Desert millipede, Bumblebee millipede, Ivory millipede, and North American Giant millipede are just a few examples of the diverse range of species available. These millipedes add a splash of color and uniqueness to any collection, offering enthusiasts a chance to explore the wonders of these incredible arthropods.

With proper care and attention to their specific needs, these giant millipedes can thrive and bring joy to their owners for many years to come. In conclusion, the world of Giant African millipedes is fascinating and diverse.

We have explored their description, characteristics, and different species, including the African giant black millipede and the Ghana Chocolate millipede. We have discussed the housing and habitat requirements, emphasizing the need for a proper environment and regular maintenance.

Feeding these millipedes a diet of decaying plant material, along with supplements like cuttlebone, ensures their well-being. We have also examined the pros and cons of owning these creatures, highlighting their ease of care and educational value, while considering the potential risks associated with their toxin secretion and potential illnesses.

Furthermore, we have delved into the availability and legal considerations surrounding non-native species, and introduced other types of giant millipedes that can make great pets, such as the Thai Rainbow millipede and the Flame Leg millipede. Overall, owning Giant African millipedes offers a unique and low-maintenance pet experience, adding beauty and wonder to any home or educational setting.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a captivating journey into the world of these remarkable arthropods, Giant African millipedes are waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

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