Small millipedes are an interesting and beneficial addition to any tank.
They help break down organic material and aerate the soil, making them a wonderful addition to any miniature ecosystem.
With so many different types of small millipedes available, it can be difficult to decide which ones are best for you.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the ten best types of tiny pet millipedes for terrariums.
We’ll cover what makes each type of small millipede unique, how to buy them, and how to care for them in your setup.
Read on to learn more about these mini millipedes and which ones will be perfect for your terrarium!
What Are Small Millipedes?
A small millipede is a species of millipede that is generally smaller than other millipedes.
These millipedes are usually under three inches in length, and they have only a few hundred segments.
Smaller millipedes are a popular choice for terrariums because of their size and the fact that they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
Benefits Of Smaller Millipedes
Small millipedes are beneficial to terrariums because they help break down organic material and aerate the soil.
They also feed on decaying plant matter and can help keep enclosures clean and free of pests.
Additionally, miniature millipedes require minimal care and don’t need to be fed as often as larger millipedes.
This makes them a great choice for animal keepers who don’t have a lot of time to devote to their setups.
Best Types Of Small Millipedes
The best types of small millipedes for terrariums are going to be millipedes that are easily accessible within the trade and easy to maintain.
Each type of millipede has its own unique characteristics and care requirements, so it’s important to research each one before making a purchase.
In general, these millipedes prefer high humidity, a well-draining substrate, and plenty of organic material to feed on.
Kentucky Flat Millipede (Apheloria virginiensis)
The Kentucky Flat Millipede, otherwise known as Apheloria virginiensis, is a unique, small millipede with a flat back perfect for terrariums.
It is native to the Appalachian region and can reach up to almost two inches long with a beautiful black and yellow pattern.
It is also equipped to escape capture with its speed and flat, almost diamond-shaped body allowing it to quickly fit between cracks and crevices.
This millipede is easy to care for and makes an interesting and exciting addition to any enclosure.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Kentucky Flat Millipede (Apheloria virginiensis).
Feather Millipede (Brachycybe producta)
The Feather Millipede, or Brachycybe producta, is an unusual-looking millipede to have as a pet, growing to be no longer than one inch in length.
It has an attractive pinkish-orange banded pattern on its body and is native to America.
It is unique amongst its small millipede peers in that it is long and skinny while other small species tend to be short and stocky.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Feather Millipede (Brachycybe producta).
Giant Pill Millipede (Zephronia siamensis)
Giant Pill Millipede, aka Zephronia siamensis, is a larger variation of pill millipedes.
At approximately 2 inches in length, it still makes our list of small millipedes as pets.
It is native to Thailand and has a unique banded black and orange pattern on its body.
Its mouthparts form into a pair of scissors-like structures used to shred its food before it is consumed.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Giant Pill Millipede (Zephronia siamensis).
Flame Leg Millipede (Trigoniulus macropygus)
The Flame Leg Millipede, scientifically known as Trigoniulus macropygus, is a small colorful-legged millipede reaching almost 2 inches in size.
This millipede is native to Southeast Asia and is typically very brightly colored.
It can confidently sport orange, red, yellow, and black colored legs, thus the name “Flame Leg”.
What makes the Flame Leg Millipede stand out from the rest is how active and bold it is.
This species tends to be much livelier and less timid than other small millipedes.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Flame Leg Millipede (Trigoniulus macropygus).
Pink Dragon Millipede (Desmoxytes planata)
The Pink Dragon Millipede, aka Desmoxytes planata, is a tiny, yet mighty, millipede that reaches just over an inch long.
It is easy to recognize with its vibrant pink segments, legs, and antennae.
Native to tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, these millipedes possess unique defensive qualities that set them apart from other small millipedes.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Pink Dragon Millipede (Desmoxytes planata).
Long-flanged Millipede (Orthomorpha coarctata)
The Long-flanged Millipede, or Orthomorpha coarctata, is a small millipede that is great for terrariums.
This species grows to about an inch long and has a dark brown body with short, yellowish-orange flanges along its back.
It is native to the forests of South and Southeast Asia, where it uses its crawling and burrowing skills to survive in leaf litter and moist soils.
What makes this species especially unique is its flattened shape and delicate, feathery feel when handled.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Long-flanged Millipede (Orthomorpha coarctata).
Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)
The Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis) is a small, common millipede found in gardens around the world.
It typically ranges in size from 0.6 to 1.0 inches.
They are an attractive species, with a glossy black body and tannish-brown legs, making them quite distinct.
Native to East Asia, specifically Taiwan, Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan, this species prefers moist conditions, with a temperature ranging from 59-77⁰F.
This species is quite unique compared to other small millipedes, as they do not naturally spray defensive secretions like other millipedes.
This makes them a great pet for beginners, who do not want the mess associated with other species.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis).
White-legged Snake Millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger)
The White-legged Snake Millipede, also known as Tachypodoiulus niger, is a small millipede on the larger side of this list.
It typically grows up to be more than two inches as an adult.
These millipedes are native to Europe but commonly found in Northwest Africa, the Middle East, and the Himalayas.
In appearance, they are black with white legs and a velvety sheen due to small tubercles on their dorsal surface.
White-legged Snake Millipedes make phenomenal additions to terrariums due to their generally docile nature and fast breeding cycle.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on White-legged Snake Millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger).
Flat-backed Millipede (Polydesmus angustus)
Flat-backed Millipede, scientifically known as Polydesmus angustus, has a slender cylindrical body and measures about 2 inches in length.
It has a yellowish-brown body and several dark brown bands running down its back, giving it the name “flat-backed”.
One unique feature that makes this European mini millipede great for terrariums is that this species does not need high humidity levels like other small millipedes.
This also makes it an ideal choice for beginner hobbyists as it does not require much attention.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Flat-backed Millipede (Polydesmus angustus).
Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata)
The Pill Millipede, or Glomeris marginata, is the smaller variation of the similar giant we covered earlier.
This bite-sized millipede grows to be only 0.79 inches in length, making it one of the smallest species of millipede.
It has a cylindrical body made up of many rings with a pair of legs per segment.
Pill millipedes are often confused with pill bugs due to their similarities.
One of its most unique traits is that, unlike other species of small millipedes, it usually rolls up into a tight pill shape when confronted with a threat.
This makes it great for terrariums as it requires little to no maintenance, making it a great addition to small enclosures.
If you’re looking for more specifics on this millipede, here’s a full care guide on Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata).
Small Millipedes For Sale
Finding small millipedes for sale is relatively easy. Many pet stores carry these types of millipedes, and they can also be found online.
When buying smaller millipedes, it is important to make sure that they are healthy and in good condition.
Additionally, it is important to research the species of millipede that you are buying to make sure that it is suitable for your setup.
Small Millipede Care
Caring for small millipedes in a vivarium is relatively straightforward.
Their habitat should be kept moist and at a constant temperature.
It’s important to keep their environment clean, as they are sensitive to dirt and debris.
Additionally, small millipedes should be handled gently and with care, as they have delicate exoskeletons.
With the right care, small millipedes can live for several years and be a wonderful addition to any terrarium.
Feeding Small Millipedes
Small millipedes can be fed a variety of organic matter such as fruits, vegetables, and decaying plant matter.
It’s important to provide a variety of food sources to ensure that the millipedes have all the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet.
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 personal favorite recipe.
Small millipedes can be an exciting addition to any type of vivarium. Not only do they have a unique look, but they also help maintain balance and cleanliness in their environment.
With the right care and maintenance, these mini millipedes can be an interesting and beneficial species for your self-sustaining ecosystem.
We hope this article has given you insight into multi-legged miniatures, as well as how to best care for and maintain them.
Frequently Asked Questions
The smallest millipede is the Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata) which is only .79in long.
Millipedes can secrete a foul-smelling liquid to ward off predators. This liquid can cause irritation and burning if it gets on your skin. Additionally, some species of millipedes are venomous and can cause skin irritation or other reactions if touched. For these reasons, it is best to avoid touching a millipede.
No, house millipedes are not harmful to humans. They are considered nuisance pests because they can enter homes in large numbers in search of food and moisture, but they do not bite or sting.
Arguably the cutest millipede species is the Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata) which looks like rolie-polies at first glance.
Small millipedes in the house are typically caused by high levels of moisture in the environment, such as a damp basement or crawlspace. They may also be attracted to decaying organic matter, such as leaves, wood, or compost.
There are several different methods you can use to get rid of millipedes in your house. The most effective methods include reducing moisture, sealing entry points, using chemical insecticides, and using natural predators such as centipedes and spiders. To reduce moisture, make sure to repair any water leaks, reduce humidity levels in your home, and vacuum up any standing water. Sealing entry points, such as cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and door frames, can also help keep millipedes out. Chemical insecticides can be used to kill millipedes, however, you should follow the instructions on the product label carefully, and ensure you are using the correct product for millipedes. Finally, you can introduce natural predators such as centipedes and spiders to help naturally reduce the population of millipedes in your home.
Millipedes can be killed with a variety of insecticides. Commonly used insecticides include pyrethrins, carbamates, and organophosphates. These insecticides can be applied as a spray, dust, or granules.