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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone knows if American millipedes can coexist with dart frogs. I have read that they secrete toxins when disturbed, but don't know if the concentration is something to worry about or even if the frogs would attempt to eat them. Any knowledge on the matter would be appreciated. 8o)
 

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I don't know much about millipedes except that you should never touch your eyes or mouth (any area with mucous glands) after coming in contact with them. I wouldn't risk pairing them together, personally. Frogs have such sensitive skin (that's far more permeable than ours) so I just don't think it would be a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Scott, but I have done a search, both here on Dendroboard and on Google. I spent quite a bit of time researching, but don't know what to think about keeping them together or not. I've found out that Histological studies of the defence mechanism of Narceus annularis secretes benzoquinones, but don't know what effect this would have on dart frogs if circumstances caused them to come into contact with it, or even the quantity of toxins secreted by the millipedes.

I was hoping someone either with experience keeping the two together, or preferably someone with more scientific knowledge (was thinking maybe Ed) could give me a little insight into what to expect with the two together.
 

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This is from Wikipedia..

Due to their lack of speed and their inability to bite or sting, millipedes' primary defense mechanism is to curl into a tight coil — protecting their delicate legs inside an armoured body exterior. Many species also emit poisonous liquid secretions or hydrogen cyanide gas through microscopic pores along the sides of their bodies as a secondary defense.[6][7][8] Some of these substances are caustic and can burn the exoskeleton of ants and other insect predators, and the skin and eyes of larger predators. Animals such as Capuchin monkeys have been observed intentionally irritating millipedes in order to rub the chemicals on themselves to repel mosquitoes.[9]

As far as humans are concerned, this chemical brew is fairly harmless, usually causing only minor effects on the skin, the main effect being discoloration, but other effects may also include pain, itching, local erythema, edema, blisters, eczema, and occasionally cracked skin.[7][10][11][12] Eye exposures to these secretions causes general eye irritation and potentially more severe effects such as conjunctivitis and keratitis.[13] First aid consists of flushing the area thoroughly with water; further treatment is aimed at relieving the local effects.


I wouldnt. Hydrogen Cyanide gas sounds like it hurts...
 

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Well I had no idea what benzoquinone was so I did a web search:
Benzoquinones - definition of Benzoquinones in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

The thing that caught my eye was "toxic by inhalation and an irritant to skin and mucous membranes". Even if they were harmless I'd advise against it. I remember reading an account on Dendroboard where a hobbyist had a vivarium OVERRUN by millipedes. He said that it was nothing but a mass of writhing bugs and he had to tear it down. (It may very well be that the person I'm thinking of is the same that Scott named.) Either way... I can't think of any good reasons to add millipedes to your viv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, they are excellent detrivores, they are interesting to watch, and it seems population should be limited by food supply... I will definatley have them in a viv, but I was wondering if it could be a viv with frogs. If the millipedes aren't threatened by the dart frogs, then there should be no cause for concern. If they are... well that's a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote"

I've had millipedes in my pumilio viv for over 10 years. When the viv was young (less than 3 years old), the millipede population was huge. They destroyed a couple ant plants and a few clutches of eggs. But eventually the population declined and now they are a nice resident of the vivarium and I see no damage.

I've had isopods outdoors destroy orchids, cardinal flower, hostas, and several other plants. The same species in my vivs has never caused a problem. Same goes for snails and slugs. All of my vivs have them, rarely to they cause a problem.

The point being that not only the species involved, but the unique conditions of the viv are important. In my experience, mature vivaria that have been allowed to find their own populatio equilibria are less prone to damage by their inhabitants. So it comes down to tolerance. Personally, I don't mind a little chewing on plants, an occassional lost plant, or even the odd egg clutch being lost. So I'm willing to tolerate a bit of damage in exchange for other services the animals provide. But everybody has their own limits.

The only caution is that sometimes attempting to control a species creates conditions for perpetual population growth while just letting the population cycle may have a better result and less headache for the keeper over the long haul.

But would I intentionally introduce millipedes into a vivarium? Yes. But with the understanding their may be some negative things I have to put up with for awhile.
__________________
Brent

"End Quote

I've been trying to find the negatives from Brent... yet he conditionally reccomends them?
Confused...
 

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I've been trying to find the negatives from Brent... yet he conditionally reccomends them?
Confused...
He said "They destroyed a couple ant plants and a few clutches of eggs. "
That's the negative
On the other hand, Millipede is a very very broad term and includes the Chilognatha class, which is many thousands of species. I used to have a Millipede was many many times the size of even the largest dart frog. It sounds like you really really want a Millipede, so go ahead and give it a try, because there is only one way to find out. Initially, I wouldn't put them in a viv with 5 frogs and risk losing them all - put them in a tank with one frog and see how it goes - a little experiment. Keep us updated
 
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