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African Giant Black Millipedes

African Giant Black Millipedes
Archispirostreptus gigas

Found throughout Kenya and Tanzania down as far as South Africa. This large species of millipede reaches an enormous 32cm length and is found mainly in dry savannas.


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What does the African Giant Black Millipede look like?

These giant millipedes are one of the biggest that you can own, growing to an impressive size of 200-240mm (8-10 inches) when adult. When the millipedes are walking, they are black in colour but once curled up they have a tint of red/brown within the segments. Their head and legs are also a red/brown colour. I would say that this species is the best for kids to own due to the size.

Where are African Giant Black Millipedes from?

Found in parts of Africa.

Being a ground dweller, millipedes hide during the day under stones and fallen timber. They are active at night, when searching for foods. Provide a temperature of 20-26C (68-78.8F), room temperature will be fine. Spray half of the tank a few times a week to keep humidity level at 60-75%. If the humidity is high enough, the millipedes may be seen during the day.

How do I keep African Giant Black Millipedes?

You need to provide a pair of Giant Black Millipedes a tank space of at least 60x40x40cm. Place a layer of leaf matter on the bottom, alternatively use Irish moss. The middle layer should consist of soil, best to use "John Innes Seed Compost". For the top layer, add more leaf matter with some rotting wood.

As already stated, millipedes eat leaf matter and rotting wood from the following trees; ash, maple, birch, beech and oak. They will also eat fibre-rich manure, vegetables, fruit (loves Banana), some raw potato, pasta, all manner of pet food and some occasional meat. Place a calcium supplement on the foods and remove any uneaten food preferably each day, to prevent mould.

Caution: Millipedes use a noxious chemical produced by lateral glands, if threatened. Depending on the species of millipede and person, this could have the following affects; it irritates skin, mucous membranes and eyes. The skin firstly turns yellow, then red or black, can cause blisters and in serious cases skin comes away leaving scarring. If this substance is spayed on your hands, wash immediately with cold running water. The longer the millipedes are kept in captivity, the less toxic they become. If handled regular, they become use to this and don't feel threatened. This is just a safety note - the above only happens in rare cases!

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