Friday, April 12, 2013

Millipede Fun! Introducing Orthoporus ornatus!

Greetings Everyone! 
The newest addition to the Critter Closet and this summer's new reading program is none other than Orthoporus ornatus, better known as the Texas Gold Phase Millipede.  These guys are the largest species of millipede in America.  Our two are not yet full grown, but they are still several inches long and still have many more years to grow.  Millipedes are one of my favorite creatures to keep as pets.  They are decomposers which means they will eat almost anything - from rotting wood and leaves to dead crickets and left over fruit like apple cores, strawberry tops, or banana peels.  Besides that, they also get used to being held very quickly and will explore all around your hand after you pick them up.  There is, however, a slight chance they get nervous and secret some acid on you - but don't worry, it's pretty harmless as long as you wash your hands afterwards - although it can stain your skin and give it a yellowish tint.  My former millipedes almost never pooped acid on me though as they learn that you are not going to hurt them very quickly.

Below are some pics of the two of them up close, followed by Reagan and Grady helping me to make sure they have the proper humidity levels by spraying their cage.  Enjoy!  And I hope to see you all this summer so you can see them up close after a show - they will be right beside the Bird Eating Goliath Tarantula!

This guy at the bottom has burrowed down into the substrate (soil) and has yet to be seen again.  They prefer to be underground and they also molt (shed their skin) while underground. 
They LOVE some baby carrots!
Reagan had also just lost her first tooth the night before!
Grady is all concentration! 

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