If you’re looking for something a bit rarer than Giant African Millipedes, then Consider the Cameroon Giant Black Millipede, also known as Spiropoeus fischeri.
Not only can they easily be cared for, but they also make unique and fascinating additions to any living diorama.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the best ways to set up, feed, and handle your pet to ensure he stays happy and healthy.
If you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!
|Common Name||Cameroon Giant Black Millipede|
|Scientific Name||Spiropoeus fischeri, Mardonius parilis acuticonus|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Pets|
|Adult Size||25 cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||10-15 Gallons|
|pH||7.0 to 8.0|
What Are Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes?
Spiropoeus fischeri, previously known as Mardonius parilis acuticonus, is a species of arthropod belonging to the family Spirostreptidae.
Its common name comes from its native habitat of Cameroon in Africa.
They live in moist, tropical environments and range in size from 6-12 cm. They are active at night, and they reproduce via sexual mating.
What Do Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes Look Like?
The Spiropoeus fischeri are fairly large millipedes, typically ranging from 23 to 25 centimeters in length.
They’re usually a solid, dark black color with reddish leg bands, and can sometimes have a slightly blue sheen.
When disturbed, the Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes’ setae (bristles) often become slightly erect and shiny, giving these millipedes a shimmery, metallic appearance.
They have two antennae and two sets of mandibles, as well as two sets of eyes.
Along their body are cylindrical rings, each of which possesses two pairs of legs.
All legs have claws at the end, which are used primarily for locomotion.
Benefits Of Using Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes make great pets for people of all ages and can be easily integrated into many types of vivariums.
In addition to providing a fun and interactive pet, keeping Spiropoeus fischeri in an enclosure can help to break up a visual monotony and create an interesting living space.
They are relatively low-maintenance, and their diet and environment can be easily modified to suit their needs.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipede Facts
Spiropoeus fischeri is a small invertebrate native to West and Central Africa.
hey typically dine on fallen leaves and vegetation and tend to be quite docile and easily handled.
With proper care, they can live for several years, though they are parthenogenetic, meaning they do not require a mate to reproduce.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes are native to Cameroon and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
They are widely distributed and can also be found in small numbers in other African countries including, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Benin.
In their natural environment, they live in rainforest habitats with warm temperatures and high humidity.
They prefer dark and moist places, living among the leaf litter and moist soil on the forest floor, and can also be seen on tree logs and moist rocks.
They are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day, remaining in their burrow to avoid predators.
In their natural habitat, Spiropoeus fischeri feed on decaying leaves, decaying wood, and other organic matter such as fungi, bark, and mushrooms.
These millipedes often climb trees to access their food sources, so it’s not uncommon to find them on the outside of trees or even inside hollows.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes are generally non-aggressive and docile creatures, so they can make great pets for all kinds of people.
They don’t bite or pinch, and they can be handled by humans and gently petted, so long as the millipede feels safe.
Since they’re also slow-moving, they’re typically not a danger to any other pets or animals around them.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes can live for up to 10 years given the proper care.
The life cycle of the Cameroon Giant Black Millipede begins with eggs that are laid in clusters.
After approximately 5 to 6 weeks, the eggs will hatch into larvae.
During the larvae stage, the millipedes will molt several times until they reach full size, typically 10 months after hatching.
After another 3 to 4 months, the millipedes will reach sexual maturity, at which point they can breed and lay eggs of their own.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes are nocturnal and mate mainly during the night.
Males will attract females with a secreted pheromone, which stimulates the female to start the mating process.
After the mating is complete, the female will lay her eggs in a soft, moist environment.
It will take a few weeks for the eggs to completely develop and hatch, at which point the baby millipedes will look like smaller versions of the adults.
Where To Find Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes can be found living in tropical regions of Africa, especially in Cameroon and its Surrounding Areas.
If you’d like to find one in the wild, be sure to look in rock crevices or under logs and fallen leaves during the night.
You may also be able to find Spiropoeus fischeri for sale.
Pet stores, reptile shows, and online reptile suppliers may carry them due to their popularity as pets.
When purchasing a millipede, make sure to buy one that is active and bright-colored.
Avoid the ones that are lethargic and dull-looking, as these are more likely to be sick or stressed.
Cameroon Giant Black Millipede Care
Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes are very easy to care for. Like most millipedes, they require consistent temperature and humidity.
Lighting, substrate, and diet are also important factors to take into consideration.
The ideal tank for a Spiropoeus fischeri should allow adequate space for your pet to explore.
Tank size should depend on the number of millipedes and should generally allow at least 5 gallons per additional pet.
The ideal terrarium should also have a pH between 6.3 and 7.8, with a hardness level of 6-12KH and a temperature of 73-78°F.
Finally, terrarium lighting should be reduced for this pet, with the use of a timer or diffused ambient light.
What Do Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes Eat?
Feeding your Cameroon Giant Black Millipede isn’t complicated.
They can be fed a variety of fruits, vegetables, and occasionally small insects.
Depending on the individual’s size, he should be fed every two to three days, with small amounts of food.
Below is a list of things that you can feed your pet:
- Fruits: Strawberries, apples, banana slices, figs
- Vegetables: Cooked sweet potatoes, kale, carrots
- Decaying Insects: Small crickets, waxworms, mealworms, locusts
These items should make up the bulk of your pet’s diet.
To ensure your pet gets the right nutrient balance, you may also want to provide a vitamin and calcium supplement.
If you’re more of an avid hobbyist like myself, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY Millipede food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.
Best Tankmates For Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes
Spiropoeus fischeri is an interesting and active pet that can be kept with other invertebrates.
While it should not be housed with aggressive or large predators, some other animals are ideal tankmates.
One of the best animals to keep with Cameroon Giant Black Millipedes is springtails.
These small, friendly critters can be kept in the same tank and are capable of cohabitating with the millipede provided they are both given ample space.
Pet isopods are also suitable tankmates for giant millipedes.
These small, insect-like creatures can benefit from being in a community setting alongside your millipede.
They help to aerate and break down waste, which can help to create a cleaner, healthier environment.
Finally, a variety of land snails can be suitable tankmates as well. Snails, like isopods, help to aerate and break down waste in the tank.
They are also relatively easy to care for and will not disrupt the activity of the millipede.
These animals can be kept in the tank without the worry of a millipede preying on them, so they can serve as good additional companions.
Caring for a Cameroon Giant Black Millipede is a rewarding experience for any new pet millipede owner.
With the right setup and feeding regime, you can ensure Spiropoeus fischeri will stay healthy and entertained throughout his life.
Eventually, you may even feel a connection with this little creature, as you always know he can trust you to take good care of him.