Texas Chocolate Millipede suddenly missing many Legs!

  • I recently bought a Texas Chocolate millipede
    (orthoporus texicolens) that was missing an antennae, along with an orthoporus
    onatus (Texas Golden-banded millipede) at a Repticon show in Tampa. They were wild caught. I have had them for almost two weeks.
    They are house in a plastic sterlite shoebox in a substrate made
    up of oak leaves, sand, spaghum peat moss and decaying oak wood and bark.
    It was sterilized beforehand. It is only about an inch deep at this
    time. They live with two other
    millipedes, a Florida scarlet millipede, and a bumblebee millipede. The substrate is moist but kept dryer on one
    side than the other. They seem to prefer the moister side as that is where
    I usually see them. I offer them cucumbers, apples, cabbage, whatever
    fruits and vegetables we may be having, and a dried bug mix that I get for my
    hermit crabs that they gobble up. I am in the process of setting up a 10
    gallon terrarium for them.

    Anyway, this morning when I checked on them, the chocolate
    millipede was on a piece of wood chowing down, but his underside was turned
    upward (though his front half was facing downwards like normal). He was
    missing several segments of legs (an inch's worth) --- not curled up, or stumps
    indicating foot rot; but totally missing. Yesterday he was fine and
    crawling around like normal.

    I took him out and he crawled around on my hand normally except for having a
    little difficulty negotiating different heights where the legs are
    missing. We are very sad, and wonder what could have
    happened? Any help would be muchly appreciated.

  • I just reexamined the millipede and discovered he has lost some more legs. I looked at him under LED lighting with a magnifying glass as well as
    examined the substrate. What I did discover is that most of the legs now except for the front ones are turning black at the tips---foot rot? The substrate
    is fairly dry right now. I checked the other pedes who are just fine. There was a cucumber that was a couple of days old and mushy that he spent quite a
    bit of time on. Could this have set him up for foot root? I have put him in a separate enclosure on paper towels while making up new substrate for him,
    though the current substrate seems quite right. Could his immune system just be weak making him susceptible?

    Ich überprüft die Tausendfüßler und entdeckt, dass er einige mehr Beine verloren hat. Ich sah ihn unter LED Beleuchtung mit einer Lupe sowie als
    das Substrat untersucht. Was ich entdeckt habe ist, dass die meisten die Beine jetzt außer den vorderen schwarzen an den Spitzen---Fuß Fäulnis drehen? Das Substrat
    ist jetzt ziemlich trocken. Ich überprüfte die anderen Pedes, die ganz gut sind. Gab es eine Gurke, die war ein paar Tage alt und matschig, dass er ganz verbrachte eine
    wenig Zeit auf. Könnte dies ihn für Fuß Wurzel eingerichtet haben? Ich habe ihn in einem separaten Gehäuse auf Küchenpapier setzen, während denen sich neues Substrat für ihn,
    Obwohl die aktuellen Substrat ganz richtig scheint. Könnte sein Immunsystem nur schwach macht ihn anfällig sein?

  • Hi Florida girl,

    Welcome here.

    I have to appologize for my terrible english.

    I could guess, but i dont know what it exactly is.
    It would be great if you upload some pictures of your millipedes and the gap of legs and maybe the plastic Box.

    Well in the Substrat should be the micro organism, sure some are Bad germs, but some are good, they keep themself equal.
    I dont know how you sterilized the Substrat, did you heat it?
    If it is steril, there can grow easily fungi / mashrooms, the seeds are in the air.

    Dont switch to fast the conection of humidy, dry, Temperatur etc.
    Cucumber could Not be the reason by himself.

    Well if you dont wanna some other animals in your Substrat, it will be better to freeze it for 24 hours.
    Please dont freeze the millipedes please.

    Please give them the chose between dry and humid, they know what they need.

    You Wrote that the millipede was catched wild, Do you know what happend with him, Do you know that He was health?
    Millipedes they need a long time to Show what they have, they are Tuff.
    It could be that the millipede was sick before and just now you See the results.
    If the others are fine and you keep them in a proper way, the millipedes with less legs will be fine too.

    But i dont know all species of millipedes, specially yours.
    But some millipedes love to be in a wet Substrat.
    But other love it more dry.

    I hope you could understand me.

    If someone find some mistakes, please write me i will try to edit.

    C U Samhain

  • At this time, I do not have the capability to take and upload pics, but am working on it. I bought him exactly two weeks ago today at a Repticon Show in Tampa, FL from a dealer.
    The Texas Golden-banded Millipede that I got at the same time is thriving. He is on paper towels now with a few oak leaves and bark, so bacteria do not have any moisture to fuel
    growth if that is a factor. He has not lost anymore legs today though he resembles more of a long larva with just his front few legs and nothing in the middle, and then just a few
    legs in the rear. He is still happily eating oak leaves, wood and cucumber, though.

    I talked to the seller who collected these himself in the wild, and he told me that he was having the same problem with a few of his chocolates, though he has kept them very dry.
    They were collected in the panhandle of Texas--dry rocky substrate. He said the Golden ones could be found anytime, but the chocolate ones usually only came out at night. He said
    even though both species were found in the same area, they were not found together. He thought maybe the chocolates were more prone to stress, so he separated the Goldens
    from the chocolates into different enclosures. He was interested in what I had gleaned from my research as he hadn’t had this problem with other species. I asked him if he could
    take pics and send them to me of the environment he collected them from in Texas. He said he would next time he went there. That will give me more insight into setting up a
    habitat. The Golden-banded is doing great. She eats and eats, and preens herself like a cat, and ignores us when we open the enclosure. The Chocolate would usually always curl
    up when we opened the enclosure. The temperature might be a little cooler than the temperature is in Texas—but the Texas panhandle does get quite chilly during the autumn
    nights and winter. Our home is around 72 – 75°F. So, I guess it is just wait and see. I guess it is similar to people. If you are physiologically stressed, and your immune system is
    being challenged, normal bacteria in the environment can get a foot-hold and cause disease. Bacteria are present everywhere and if conditions are right, they thrive. So, a weak
    individual can succumb. I thank you for your response. I am learning a lot and learning to examine many aspects of care of these interesting creatures.

    Zu diesem Zeitpunkt ich nicht über die Fähigkeit zu nehmen und Bilder hochladen, aber arbeite dran. Ich ihn heute bei einer Repticon-Show in Tampa, FL vor genau zwei Wochen bei einem Händler gekauft. Die Texas Golden gebändert Tausendfüßler, die habe ich zur gleichen Zeit blüht.
    Er ist auf Küchenpapier jetzt mit ein paar Eiche Blätter und Rinde, so dass Bakterien keine Feuchtigkeit zur Steigerung des Wachstums nicht verfügen, wenn das ein Faktor ist. Er hat nicht mehr Beine verloren obwohl er mehr einer langen Larve mit nur seine Front Paar Beine ähnelt und nichts in der Mitte, und dann nur ein paar Beine im Heck. Er ist immer noch glücklich Eichenlaub, Holz und Gurke, aber Essen.
    Ich sprach mit dem Verkäufer, der diese gesammelt selbst in freier Wildbahn, und er erzählte mir, dass er das gleiche Problem mit ein paar seiner Schokolade hatte, obwohl er ihnen sehr trocken gehalten hat. Sie wurden gesammelt im Panhandle von Texas - trockenen felsigen Untergrund. Er sagte die goldene, die jederzeit gefunden werden, aber die Schokolade, die in der Regel nur kam in der Nacht. Er sagte, obwohl beide Arten in der gleichen Gegend gefunden wurden, waren sie nicht zusammen gefunden.
    Er dachte vielleicht die Pralinen waren anfälliger für stress, so er trennte die
    Goldens aus die Pralinen in verschiedenen Gehäusen. Er war interessiert, was ich aus meiner Forschung entnommen hatte, wie er dieses Problem mit anderen Arten hatte. Ich fragte ihn, ob er Bilder und sie mir die Umgebung schickt könne er aus in Texas gesammelt. Er sagte, er würde das nächste Mal ging er hin. Das gibt mir mehr Einblick in den Aufbau eines Lebensraums.
    Die Golden gebändert ist dabei groß. Sie isst und isst, und preens sich wie eine Katze und ignoriert uns, wenn wir das Gehäuse zu öffnen. Die Schokolade würde in der Regel immer kuscheln, wenn wir das Gehäuse geöffnet.
    Die Temperatur ist möglicherweise ein wenig kühler als die Temperatur in Texas – aber im Texas Panhandle bekommt während der Herbstnächte und im Winter recht kühl. Unser Haus ist rund 72 – 75 ° c.
    Also, ich denke, es ist einfach abwarten und sehen.
    Ich denke, es ist ähnlich wie bei Menschen. Wenn Sie physiologisch gestresst sind, und Ihr Immunsystem wird herausgefordert, können normale Bakterien in der Umwelt eine Fuß-ergattern und verursachen Krankheit. Bakterien sind überall vorhanden und wenn die Bedingungen Recht sind, sie gedeihen. Also, kann eine schwache Person erliegen.
    Ich danke Ihnen für Ihre Antwort. Ich bin eine Menge lernen und lernen, viele Aspekte der Pflege dieser interessanten Tiere zu untersuchen.

  • hi Florida Girl,

    thank you for more details.

    I think yount need to have worry about the golden milipede, sounds like that this species can handle different parameters.

    But the choclate millipede is much more shy and need some specifical parameters to life in a proper way.

    Both was cllected in Texas in an area where is warm and dry at day and at night its colder.
    Florida is subtropical area warm and wet days and night right?

    So i think the chocolate millipede need it a bit colder and a bit less wet, even the air huminity.
    Because he was collected at night in an arid area.
    Can you try to keep him cooler like 65-68 F°?

    Well the relative humidity is important too to keep the millipedes in a proper way.
    And the relative humidity in Florida is much higher than in Texas normaly.

    So i think you have a high relative humidity at home maybe around 70%.
    For all kind of germs and other microorganism is the humidity/ wet and warm habitat important to work.
    Perhaps you steriliced the substrat but the millipede has microrganism on his surface, your chcolate millipedes was in texas fine, and the microorganism on his surface was controlled by temperatur and relative humidity and suddently he is in tropical Florida and the germs started to work faster on his surface.

    I try to explain how you could keep him better, the chocolate dont like the sun and high temperature, keep him in shadow and in a cooler part in your home, like the basement.
    Try to keep him dry not like in a desert. Put more oak leaves in both habitats,for golden and for the choco.
    the leaves should be dry, but not tosted that they are absolutly dry.

    The leaves are an isolation if it become to hot, and the millipedes can hide inside and eat it at the same time.

    It would be great if you can tell us the richt name, the science name of the species.

    Im sorry again for my terrible english, but it looks like that you can understand me :)

    C U Samhain

  • Hallo, Samhain! I understand you just fine. What you wrote made a lot of sense. He is being kept fairly cool for a millipede--between 67-72 F. Humidity is where the problem is, I believe. When I bought my two millipedes, they were sold to me as the same species though the seller was in doubt about that since he never found the two types together. I found this discussion on another forum which describes the issue:


    It is a discussion on Orthoporus onatus vs. Orthoporus texicolens. It is believed that Orthoporus onatus comes in a golden-banded variation and a chocolate variation. However, there is another very similar one which is the texicolens. Just looking at the two I have, shows differences in head shape and rear. Anyway, here is the discussion (English and Deutsch courtesy of Bing Translator):

    Orthoporus texicolens vs Orthoporus ornatusnebarnix PRO 9:20pm, 11 September 2009 Does anyone here know the difference between Orthoporus texicolens and Orthoporus ornatus? They both seem to inhabit arizona / texas area, ornatus is supposedly the desert millipede of the sonoran desert but I am not finding any information on the Orthoporus texicolens. An image search reveals these two to be confused often.Any information would be much appreciated as I have a few as pets and saw one in the sonoran desert over the weekend, I had thought they were all ornatus, but the pets have stripes and the sonoran desert millipede was a solid dark coffee ish red. Environmental differences perhaps... more information needed! thanks so much!

    Furryscaly Posted 6 years ago.
    Edited by Furryscaly (admin) 6 years ago

    This is a tough one.
    There is debate over how many Orthoporus species there even are. I've seen as
    many as eleven species listed from the U.S. alone, though I think currently
    they've been lumped into a smaller number. The vast majority of sitings are
    identified as O. ornatus, even by professional myriapodologists, though
    I wonder how they tell the difference.

    What I've noticed is that O. texocolens seems to only come with bands of
    reddish brown and dark brown, whereas O. ornatus I've seen with the same
    colors in addition to solid chocolate and the yellowish and brown banded.

    If that tells me anything, based on color your banded ones are ornatus and your
    wild ones could be either species. However, I also wonder how many "O.
    ornatus" out there are truly identified correctly and not actually some
    other Orthoporus species.

    I've read that O. ornatus reaches a maximum length of 10 cm (almost 4
    inches), whereas O. texicolens grows 5-6 inches on average. If that's
    true you could measure yours and see what results you get. However, if it is
    true then I think it conflicts with many "positively identified" O.
    ornatus out there, as they seem to be over 4 inches in many photos.

    O. texicolens I know is found in woodlands as well as deserts, whereas I
    personally only know O. ornatus to occur in deserts.

    Their natural range I'm sure may play a part in their ID also. If you could
    find a more detailed map of where they're found then it could help, though
    there's going to be some overlap in their range in some areas.

    Orthoporus Texicolens Vs Orthoporus Ornatusnebarnix
    PRO 21:20, 11. September 2009
    Hat jemand hier kennt den Unterschied zwischen Orthoporus Texicolens und Orthoporus Ornatus? Sie scheinen beide Arizona zu bewohnen / Texas Bereich, Ornatus ist angeblich die Wüste Tausendfüßler der Sonora-Wüste, aber ich finde keine Informationen über die Orthoporus Texicolens. Eine Bildersuche zeigt diese beiden oft verwechselt werden. Jede Information würde sehr geschätzt werden, wie ich ein paar als Haustiere habe und sah ein in der Sonora-Wüste über das Wochenende, ich hatte gedacht, sie waren alle Ornatus, aber die Haustiere haben Streifen und die Sonoran Wüste Tausendfüßler war ein festen dunklen Kaffee Ish rot. Environmental Unterschiede... vielleicht mehr Informationen benötigt! Vielen Dank!

    Furryscaly Posted 6 Jahren.
    Bearbeitet von Furryscaly (Admin) vor 6 Jahren

    Dies ist eine schwierige Frage.
    Es gibt Diskussionen darüber wie viele Orthoporus-Arten gibt es auch. Ich habe so gesehen.
    vielen als elf Arten aus den USA allein, obwohl ich, derzeit glaube
    Sie haben in eine kleinere Anzahl in einen Topf geworfen worden. Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Sitings sind
    als O. Ornatus, identifiziert aber auch von professionellen myriapodologists
    Ich frage mich, wie sie den Unterschied feststellen.

    Was ich bemerkt habe ist, dass O. Texocolens scheint, nur mit Bands zu kommen
    rötlich braun und dunkel braun, während O. Ornatus ich, mit der gleichen gesehen habe
    Farben zusätzlich feste Schokolade und die gelblich und braun gebändert.

    Wenn das sagt mir nichts, basierend auf der Farbe sind Ihre beringte Ornatus und Ihre
    Wilde Jungs könnte beiden Spezies. Aber ich frage mich auch wie viele "O.
    Ornatus"draußen sind wirklich korrekt identifiziert und nicht tatsächlich einige
    andere Orthoporus Arten.

    Ich habe gelesen, dass O. Ornatus erreicht eine maximale Länge von 10 cm (fast 4
    Zoll), während O. Texicolens im Durchschnitt 5-6 Zoll wächst. Wenn das der
    Sie konnte Ihre Messen und sehen, welche Ergebnisse Sie bekommen. Jedoch wenn es ist
    wahr dann denke ich, dass es im Widerspruch zu vielen "positiv identifiziert" O.
    Ornatus gibt, wie sie scheinen sich über 4 Zoll in vielen Fotos.

    O. Texicolens, ich weiß, findet sich in Wäldern als auch Wüsten, während ich
    kennen Sie nur O. Ornatus in Wüsten auftreten.

    Ihrem natürliche Verbreitungsgebiet bin ich sicher kann auch in ihre ID eine Rolle spielen. Wenn Du könntest
    finden Sie eine detaillierte Karte von wo sie zu finden sind, dann es könnte helfen, aber
    Es geht um einige Überschneidungen in ihrem Sortiment in einigen Bereichen werden.

    Here is the update on my suspected texicolens:

    After I moved him to paper towels, he did fine until I sprayed misted a little water on one side. The paper towel absorbed the water and was somewhat
    damp (but NOT soggy) the next morning, and his foot rot was back. I immediately changed out the paper towels and added a little substrate with leaves and wood to eat
    along with the end of a cucumber to put a few drops of water in. He has been fine ever since (eating, moving around, etc.). So dampness encourages the
    bacteria to thrive on his legs (like you said, a lower relative humidity is preferred). I wonder if it will ever just go away, and I am concerned that if he lives long enough to molt, will he be able to molt with such little substrate? I am a little leery of adding additional substrate till I am sure that it is not a concern. And that brings up the question, exactly what kind of substrate should I mix up for him that would be favorable? More sandy?

    Thanks for your imput!

  • Hey Florida Girl,

    Thank you for your update.

    I did read the discussion, but i Cant tell you which Kind of species your chocolate millipedes is.
    There are many species Who look similar or really same.


    To keep the chocolate millipedes in the right way, we have to look the behavior.
    Some Informations we got allready.

    You want to know the right Substrat.

    I will try to write and explain.

    Take a bit soil from a forest ca 1/3
    And 1/3 oak leaves and 1/3 old soft wood.
    Put a Bit Calcium carbonat, like egg shell.
    You can pur Sand too to the Substrat.

    I dont know how big the Container for the chocolate millipedes is.
    But Not only the Substrat is important also the right interior.
    Take some small wood sticks and Put them into the Container on the surface of the Substrat.
    And Put oak leaves inside, that between the sticks and leaves are caves.
    Take from tree the Shell, and of this concave shell you get a caves for the millipedes.

    I hope you can imagine what I mean.
    Try to creat a nice landscape, that the millipede get places to hide.
    Please observe the millipedes and try to find out where the Favorit place for the millipedes is.

    Obey dont make it wet again, keep the millipede dry and the cucumber give enough water for him.

    Please let me know when you creat a right New home for the chocolate millipede.


    Thank you

    C U Samhain