The Spike Tail Millipede (Thyropygus allevatus) is going to be a fun one to cover today!
These lively and interesting creatures are sure to bring an element of adventure and fun to your enclosure.
Here, you’ll find out everything you need to know about the Pointy-Tailed Millipede. From setting up the perfect enclosure to handling and interacting with them, and more.
Read on to learn all about how to properly care for this Pokemon-themed critter!
|Common Name||Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipede, Spike Tail Millipede|
|Scientific Name||Thyropygus allevatus|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Pets|
|Adult Size||30 cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||10-15 Gallons|
|pH||5.5 to 7.5|
What Are Siamese pointy-tailed millipedes?
Spike Tail Millipedes, also known as Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipedes, are small invertebrates that belong to the family of Harpagophoridae.
These distinctively large millipedes are commonly found in humid tropical and subtropical regions.
They can also be found in areas with similar climates, such as India and Southeast Asia.
The common name, Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipede, comes from their distinctive pointy tail that is used for digging and movement.
What Do Siamese pointy-tailed millipedes Look Like?
Siamese pointy-tailed millipedes are small, dark-brown, or dark-gray arthropods that often get more vibrant as they age.
They have a long body with many segments and a pointed tail that gives them their unique name.
The body is between 9 to 11 inches long, depending on the age and sex of the millipede.
They have between 100 and 160 legs, but fewer legs on the front end near the head.
They also have two small antennae on either side of their eyes which help them find food and navigate their environment.
Benefits Of Using Siamese pointy-tailed millipedes
The Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipede makes for a great addition to many types of vivariums!
Not only do they help to break up the substrate, which is beneficial for plant roots, but they also help to aerate the soil.
They also serve as a source of food for other inhabitants of the enclosure, such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even larger insects.
Additionally, these millipedes provide a source of entertainment for viewers since their behavior is quite interesting to watch.
Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipede Facts
The Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipede is a small, long-bodied millipede native to Southeast Asia.
They have a natural diet of decomposing plant matter and small insects and are typically docile in temperament.
Thyropygus allevatus typically have longer lifespans than most millipedes, and while they do not typically breed in captivity, they are fairly easy to care for.
The Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipede is native to Thailand, though it is also found in parts of Sri Lanka as well as Vietnam.
These millipedes are usually found close to the ground and in dark, wet places like mulch, forest litter, or soil.
They prefer shady habitats with lots of hiding spaces and high levels of humidity, like rotten logs and leafy humus.
In their natural habitat, Thyropygus allevatus feed primarily on decaying vegetation like fallen leaves, fruits, and flowers.
They’re also known to feed on small insects, larvae, and other sources of protein.
It’s important to note that these millipedes are not predators–rather, they’re scavengers.
When food is not readily available in the wild, Siamese pointy-tailed millipedes have been observed to eat their shed exoskeletons.
This process provides them with important nutrients, minerals, and amino acids that would otherwise be lacking in the natural environment.
Spike Tail Millipedes are not particularly aggressive toward humans and other animals.
They tend to be shy and may curl up into a ball when stressed or threatened.
They prefer to retreat rather than fight, but they might bite if they feel they are in danger.
Otherwise, they won’t cause any harm and their bites are harmless.
Due to their timid nature, Thyropygus allevatus do not do well in active and loud environments.
They prefer to hide and will seek out dark, quiet corners of the enclosure when they feel the need to retreat and relax.
It is essential to create a peaceful and quiet environment for the millipede to thrive.
The average life expectancy of a Siamese pointy-tailed millipede is seven to ten years.
Thyropygus allevatus goes through a number of distinct stages of life.
The first stage is the egg stage, during which the eggs are laid on the ground. After about two weeks, the eggs hatch, and the larvae emerge.
During the larval stage, the larvae will molt, or shed their exoskeletons.
They will then undergo several more molts before reaching adulthood, during which they will reach their full size.
Once they are fully grown, the millipede will begin reproducing.
Thyropygus allevatus typically mate and reproduce in the summer, during June and July.
The male will locate a female by following her pheromone “scent trail”, and will attempt to court her.
When mating is successful, the female lays egg capsules, which generally contain 5-25 eggs.
The young millipedes will stay with the mother for a short period, generally only a few weeks, before they disperse.
Where To Find Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipedes
If you’re interested in finding Thyropygus allevatus in the wild, your best bet is to make a trip to Thailand.
Another way to obtain a Siamese pointy-tailed millipede is through pet stores or breeders.
Again, make sure you purchase from a reputable source as there is potential for inhumane breeding practices if your pet is not ethically sourced.
Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipede Care
Properly caring for a Thyropygus allevatus requires providing an appropriate enclosure, feeding the right food, and maintaining the proper temperature and humidity levels.
It also helps to understand the safest way to handle and interact with them.
With the proper knowledge, these fascinating creatures can make a great pets for anyone with a love of animals.
Siamese Pointy-Tailed Millipedes thrive in plastic or glass enclosures with mesh lids or terrariums that are at least 10 gallons in size.
They prefer an environment with a slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 7.8, and a hardness between 4 and 8 dKH.
The terrarium substrate should be kept damp, not wet, to prevent mold growth.
What Do Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipedes Eat?
Feeding Thyropygus allevatus can be simple and easy!
These millipedes are mostly scavengers, meaning they will typically eat anything safe for them to consume.
Here is a list of things you can feed them:
- Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and lettuce
- Fruits, such as apples, watermelons, and bananas
- Vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and squash
- Small insects, such as crickets and mealworms
- Small bits of cooked chicken, fish, or beef
You can also use special calcium and vitamin supplements designed specifically for millipedes to provide important nutrients.
When feeding your millipede, it’s important to observe them and make sure they’re eating properly and the food is not being wasted.
It’s also important to make sure the food is small enough for them to consume and isn’t too big for them.
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 Siamese Pointy-tailed Millipedes
It’s important to note that although friendly and docile creatures, Thyropygus allevatus are solitary animals and should not be housed with other species of millipedes.
When considering potential tankmates for your Siamese pointy-tailed millipede, it’s important to look for animals that have similar care requirements and can coexist peacefully.
Although these animals will not interact directly with each other, there is always a chance of a peaceful and comradery-filled environment.
While it is possible to keep compatible animals with Thyropygus allevatus, it is important to remember that certain species have more specific care requirements that must be met.
Use our pet guides to match up care requirements between potential tankmates to make the best decisions.
This will help ensure the health and well-being of all of your tank mates.
Caring for a Thyropygus allevatus can be both rewarding and enjoyable.
With the right enclosure, diet, temperature, humidity, and handling techniques, you can provide a safe and healthy environment for your pet millipede.
Doing so will ensure that your pet can live a long and happy life as part of your family.