Seeing Scarlet Millipedes (Trigoniulus corallinus) trapped in spider webs in the corners of my house is one of the earliest memories I had as a child growing up.
Never thought I’d grow up to be an advocate for keeping them as pets. But they’re really neat to have and you will soon see why!
These hardy, low-maintenance creatures have vibrant colors, and amusing personalities, and can outlive most other giant millipede species.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the red millipede’s care. From setting up the proper habitat to identifying and treating potential health issues.
Let’s start by exploring the basics of this common critter!
|Common Name||Scarlet Millipede, Rusty Millipede, Red Millipede|
|Scientific Name||Trigoniulus corallinus|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Pets|
|Adult Size||7.65 cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||10-15 Gallons|
|pH||5.5 to 7.5|
What Are Red Millipedes?
Scarlet Millipedes, also known as Trigoniulus corallinus, is a type of small arthropod that belong to the family Trigoniulidae and are native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.
They have an elongated exoskeleton and their bodies have three distinctive bands that contain white, yellow, and red stripes.
This is the source of their common name, as their vibrant coloring resembles that of a scarlet stone.
Scarlet Millipedes are quite hardy and can adapt to various conditions and even live up to 10 years with proper care.
What Do Scarlet Millipedes Look Like?
Trigoniulus corallinus have a unique and beautiful appearance that is both captivating and awe-inspiring.
These invertebrates can reach up to 8 cm in length and have bright red bodies with black bands.
Their legs and antennae are also red, and their eyes are a remarkable jet black.
They have a cylindrical shape and are covered with around 40 cylindrical sections that are divided into five zones.
Most notably, their bodies are also coated in a waxy protective barrier that gives them a unique shine in the sunlight.
Scarlet Millipedes have many long sensory bristles along their backs that help them detect their environment.
The bristles are usually yellow or white and act as antennas in response to vibrations.
This helps the red millipedes sense both predators and prey. They also have two pairs of maxillae, which are small appendages used to chew and feed.
Benefits Of Red Millipedes
Vivariums are becoming increasingly popular, and Scarlet Millipedes are perfect for adding a stunning and low-maintenance touch of nature to your mini ecosystem.
These millipedes are robust and easy to care for and require minimal space, making them an ideal pet for any lifestyle.
Not only that, but they offer countless benefits to the overall health of your enclosure.
For example, thanks to their natural underground burrowing habits, the red millipedes aerate the soil, helping to maintain moisture and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Additionally, their instinct to consume decaying plant matter helps keep the tank free of any organic waste by cleaning up debris and decomposing plant material.
Scarlet Red Millipede Facts
Trigoniulus corallinus are known to have several common names. This includes Scarlet Millipede, Rusty Millipede, and Red Millipede.
These colorful, nocturnal creatures are herbivores and feed primarily on detritus in their habitat, such as decaying leaves and wood.
They have a peaceful temperament, and, with proper care, can live for several years.
The Scarlet Millipede is native to many parts of Southern Asia, primarily inhabiting subtropical rainforests.
It is primarily nocturnal and semi-terrestrial, which means it spends some of its time above ground, on trees, and underground.
These creatures are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide range of climates and habitats.
Although they originate from the tropics, these eye-catching creatures have also been spotted and collected in coastal areas, as well as in cooler temperate and alpine regions in the highlands.
They are also commonly found in humid homes, gardens, & backyards all over the world.
Scarlet Millipedes are omnivorous and eat a variety of plant matter, decaying wood, and small arthropods in their natural habitat.
They mostly feed on soft vegetation, such as rotting wood and fresh fruits and vegetables, but they may also take advantage of decaying animal matter, such as dead insects.
Trigoniulus corallinus are mostly peaceful around humans and other animals.
They are shy and will likely try to avoid contact when interacted with, but they are non-aggressive and won’t bite or sting.
While Scarlet Millipedes generally do not like being handled, some have been known to become acclimated over time and become calm and accepting when handled.
When left in their environment, Rusty Millipedes can be quite active, especially in the evening.
They are known to explore their habitat, climb on decorations, and seek out food.
As nocturnal animals, they come out of their hiding spots at night in search of food and to socialize with other millipedes.
They can live in groups or alone with no adverse effects.
Trigoniulus corallinus can live up to ten years if properly cared for.
During this time, they go through several life stages, beginning with the egg and ending with the adult.
The eggs hatch after a few weeks and the unhatched larvae will grow and molt into their eventual adult size.
The life cycle of the Scarlet Millipede is further divided into molt stages, which occur after an increase in size due to a growth spurt.
During this molt, the millipede will shed its exoskeleton as it is replaced with a larger, softer one.
Trigoniulus corallinus usually mate in the late fall, during times of high humidity.
During this time, males will mate with multiple females, and females can also hold sperm in their spermatheca for up to two months.
Males will typically wait until the female is clutching her eggs before depositing a spermatophore.
Females will then lay eggs in batches of around 10-50, which hatch several weeks later.
They are laid on moist soil or moss and take approximately 24 hours to harden.
After hatching, millipedes are fully developed and ready to start foraging for food.
While Scarlet Millipedes (Trigoniulus corallinus) have a long lifespan, they have a short reproductive lifespan of just 2-3 years.
Therefore, once a female has reproduced 2-3 times, her reproductive output declines.
Where To Find Red Millipedes
Finding Scarlet Millipedes for sale or in the wild is a relatively easy task. These millipedes are often spotted in various parts of the world.
In the wild, Red Millipedes can be found on the forest floor in humid regions, as well as in any nearby grassy areas or forests.
When it comes to buying a Scarlet Millipede, you can usually find them at specialty pet stores or online pet retailers.
When choosing between a wild-caught or captive-bred Trigoniulus corallinus, it’s best to go with a captive-bred specimen.
Just make sure to research the seller beforehand to ensure that they’re reputable and that their millipedes are healthy.
Scarlet Millipede Care
To care for a Scarlet Millipede, provide a habitat with the appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Proper terrarium soil, hiding places, and low levels of lighting are also recommended.
Feed the millipedes high-quality fruits and vegetables, and be sure to monitor them for any potential health issues.
Trigoniulus corallinus need an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat.
A bioactive vivarium is highly recommended, as it helps to support the Scarlet Millipedes’ natural habitat.
The tank should be kept in the range of 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees Celsius) and between 68-78% humidity.
The pH should be kept between 5.5 and 8, with a hardness of 140-180 ppm.
For terrarium lighting, a low-level blue LED light can be used for 10-12 hours per day for nocturnal viewing.
What Do Red Millipedes Eat?
Feeding your Scarlet Millipede is an important part of their overall care.
They are generalist feeders and will eat a variety of foods. Their diet should include a mix of protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Here is a list of things you can feed them:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges
- Vegetables: cabbage, carrots, broccoli
- Protein: dead insects such as crickets, mealworms, and super worms
- Leafy greens: dandelion leaves, collard greens, and mustard greens
It’s important to provide a variety of foods to ensure your Red Millipedes receive a balanced diet.
You should feed them daily with small amounts of food.
Finally, always provide fresh water in a shallow dish for your millipedes to drink, as they need moisture to survive.
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 Scarlet Millipedes
The best tankmates for Scarlet Millipedes are animals with similar beneficial qualities and behavior.
All in all, there are a variety of animals that can make great companions for your Scarlet Millipedes!
In conclusion, caring for Scarlet Millipedes can be an incredibly rewarding experience. With the right setup, knowledge, and dedication, you can ensure a happy, healthy home for your pet millipede.
There are many moving parts in creating the perfect habitat and maintaining good health, which means you can look forward to exploring new methods to keep your red millipedes thriving.
When done properly, millipede care can be both fun and educational!
Frequently Asked Questions
Scarlet millipedes (Trigoniulus corallinus) are not poisonous to humans. They produce a defensive liquid containing benzoquinones when threatened, which can be irritating to human skin and overwhelming if ingested, but is not toxic. They can, however, be harmful to other small animals if eaten.
Scarlet millipedes (Trigoniulus corallinus) can live for around 7-10 years. The lifespan of these millipedes can be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and availability of food and water.
Scarlet millipedes (Trigoniulus corallinus) are detritivores, which means they feed on decaying plant material, such as leaf litter and wood debris. In captivity, you can feed them a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, cucumber, apples, and spinach. They may also eat commercial millipede diets or calcium supplements to aid in molting.