Centipeds for fire salamanders

Will B

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Hi,

I was just collecting live food for my fire sallies from the compost pile, usually I collect a variety of different worms (when bigger I chop them up), milipedes, spiders, small snails of many kinds and a huge variety of tiny creatures which I don't always recognize, but assume that they will either eat them or ignore them. FYI I don't feed the sallies directly, I dump the creatures in front of each sally's hiding spot, they will right away eat some, but most will linger arround, providing the sallies hunting opportunities.

Today I found what seems to be a centiped, although quite different from any i've ever seen.
Its totally yellow, about 12-15cms long, yet extremelly thin and looking less armoured then the ones I usually find. When googling it I found the species "scolopendra cingulata" which seems however to differ from the one I've seen: the size and base colour are similar, but with none of the other features.

is it ok to feed Fire Salamanders with centipeds? Of any european species?
How big can/should they be in proportion to the sally? This centiped was almost as big as the sallies so I released it, but it seemed frail and so I had the impression that it would be fair game for the sallies... but being poisonous and predatory, I backed up!

Would appreciate some feedback on this...thanks
W
 

Azhael

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I would be very wary of centipedes as they have a dangerous sting. The one you describe does not sound like S.cingulata, but if you were to find those, don´t use them, they are powerful predators and quite toxic.
Honestly i wouldn´t use centipedes nor milipedes....
 

Will B

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Hi Azhael,

Thanks for the feedback, will do so. Regarding the milipeds, what is the issue that makes them unappropriate?

take care
W
 

Azhael

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Millipedes have foul secretions which vary in composition and effect. Some are just distasteful, others are toxic. To be honest i doubt the salamanders would accept them anyway (or maybe they do, i haven´t exactly tested it xD). Without knowing which species they are it´s best to be cautious.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I have to agree with Rodrigo here. The odds of a caudate even bothering to eat either are low.

The only option of the two are the Japanese House Centipedes, which are nil toxic. Personal experience shows that these are too fast for caudates.

The rest are all highly toxic as Rodrigo states. Centipedes have very nasty sharp jaws and a powerful toxin in their bite. In fact, in some areas of the world centipedes will prey on amphibians!

As for millipedes, they are 50/50 between toxic and just plain foul secretions.

However, I suggest, since you are able to find these, that means that various wood lice and sow-bugs are available to you. They inhabit the same sort of environments and are EXCELLENT live foods for terrestrial caudates.
 

Azhael

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Yeah, good point, use the isopods, those are good stuff and people report their fire salamanders accepting them well. Some of us even go through the trouble of culturing them!

Are the japanese house centipedes the Scutigera something ones? I found one of those in my house and yes, they are FAST O_O
As far as i know they do have some kind of toxicity since they are predatory, but apparently it´s not anything to be concerned about, so it´s as if they didn´t. They are pretty cool critters...

Some centipedes are VERY dangerous, even to humans and if you think centipedes eating amphibians is impressive, check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooFSFR2s7Ig


I should probably say, careful with Scolopendra cingulata if you encounter any, seriously, the sting is very, very painful.
 
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JessKB

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I'm usually not afraid of any sort of invert. However, there is something about some centipedes, especially house centipedes, that elicit a primal fear in me. We had a big house centipede in our apartment earlier this year and I literally had to have my girlfriend kill it for me. Talk about role reversal. The only thing that I'm afraid of more are the giant water bugs/water scorpions. And this is from someone who used to keep lots of inverts. :rofl:
 

Will B

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Hi guys, tks for feedback. Will refrain from using either mili and centopeds.

regarding the milipeds, don't know if it makes any difference but the milipeds I usually feed them are extremelly tiny, still without any colouring (whiteish), which I usually find in crowds between rotting leaves. I'm guessing that they are new born, and truth be told they don't populate my vivarium in the large nrs that I throw in, so either the sallies are eating them (never saw this) or they exited the enclosure (never saw any outside either, only dehydrated worms). The only 2 adult milipeds I threw in are still alive and kicking, seemingly unbothered.

regarding the centipeds it seems in fact too dangerous to even consider... even the smallest, let alone a big one like I found!
I've recaptured the centiped, will try to photograph and will post tomorrow (I hope).

I do feed them lots of isopods, although they are quicker then the worms and so when I feed them, they are the 1st to run and hide, and so the worms become the main course, and I guess the isopods become a late night munchy (if the isopod passes right in front of the sally!!!!).

tks, take care
W
 

Will B

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Hi, I'll try attaching the files with the centiped pics. Its over 16cm which is the length of the tupperware!!!!!!!
The only similar pic I found was from a "soil centiped" that exhists in the US, I hope its not a nasty invader!!! I do host US friends everynow and then, I was wondering if it could be a clandestin traveller?

Does anyone know what species and if native to Portugal (and or spain and/or europe)?

I've also taken pics of the tiny milipedes that I mentioned to be providing in abundant nrs to my sallies, and which seem to be either eaten or escaping the enclousure. They are still colourless and I was wondering if they are already toxic or distastefull??

hope that the pics upload works for me, if not I will retry in a while. Its my 1st time :)

tks
W

file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload caudata\Centopede and food\recipient size 002
file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload caudata\Centopede and food\recipient size 004
file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload caudata\Centopede and food\recipient size 008
file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload caudata\Centopede and food\recipient size 014
file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload... spots beside the worm are the micro milipeds
file://C:\Users\Will\Desktop\upload caudata\Centopede and food\recipient size 039
 

Azhael

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The links aren´t working. Try uploading them with the inbuilt forum attachment system.
 

Will B

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Trying again, if I understood correctly this will be the correct way...
will know as soon as its approved.
 

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Coastal Groovin

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I feed my salamanders the little red centipedes found in Pennsylvania all the time. They grow about 2 inches in length. They can give you a stinging bite if they get hold of you finger tip just right. There is a slight burn for about 20 mins. I'm sure some people could be more sensitive to the venom. I just rip off their heads before I place them in front of the salamander Im feeding them too. My Fire, Tiger and Spotted sals all grab them and eat them this way. The only thing I find under a log that makes me run like a little girl are those Isopod killer spiders. Now those things are freaky!!!!!!! I know a few other members on caudata that feel the same way but I will not out them here......lol.


Will, I find a centipedes very similar to the one you found here in the U.S.. They are rare around here compared to the regular ones I see. I bet its a ratio of 30 to 1 that I see one like that. I used them for food also. Just cut off the heads.
 
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Coastal Groovin

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I'm usually not afraid of any sort of invert. However, there is something about some centipedes, especially house centipedes, that elicit a primal fear in me. We had a big house centipede in our apartment earlier this year and I literally had to have my girlfriend kill it for me. Talk about role reversal. The only thing that I'm afraid of more are the giant water bugs/water scorpions. And this is from someone who used to keep lots of inverts. :rofl:


I love the house centipedes with the crazy long legs and stripes my cats also love them and I will find them with one in their mouths time to time. The legs squirming all over the place.
 
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