Archispirostreptus gigas, Am I doing it right?!

  • Hello,

    Almost a month ago I purchased two (male and female) African giant millipedes from a well known shop in the Netherlands. They kept their millipedes on cocopeat and gave them various fruits and vegetables. I noticed how most of the millipedes were laying on top of the substrate and a few were dug in.

    I wanted my millipedes on a more natural substrate so I went to the forest and collected mostly oak and beech leaves, leave humus, white rotten wood and some moss. I went through it and removed all harmful or bigger animals. Then I placed the substrate in the container (a terrarium is being made) and let my millipedes in. The first thing they did was dig in. Everyday I place bits of pear, apple, carrot, dry cat food and a piece of sepia on top of the substrate. Furthermore I keep everything moist but not wet. Underneath the container lays a heath strip covering a third of the bottom.

    Does this sound right? I rarely see my millipedes. The male came above ground only once so far (the female never!) and I twice dug gently to find them and see if they were still doing okay. I think the male was terrified by me since he defecated and ran away, digging himself in again. They never eat from the food I have laid out for them. Just a few times they ate some pear, apple and dry cat food when I handed it to them after gently digging until I found them. I assume they eat the substrate most of the time.
    They're most active during the late evening. I can hear leaves crack and I sometimes see the substrate moving when they're digging. They don't show their faces though.

    I've been looking online for similar stories but it seems other people's millipedes like to be above ground just as much as dug in. I'm not sure why my millipedes never show themselves and I'm a bit worried about them not eating any of the food I give them.

    So, am I doing it right of am I doing something wrong?