Other common names: African Black Millipede; African Giant Black Millipede; Giant African Millipede; Tanzanian Giant Millipede; AGB
Scientific name: Archispirostreptus gigas
The African Giant Black Millipede, is one of the largest millipedes and is found throughout East Africa, where its is found under rotting leaves and wood.
The African Giant Black Millipede is a popular exotic pet. They have long “worm like” bodies that are segmented. An AGB's leg total can vary from 100-300 legs, because every time they molt, more segments are added, thus adding more legs.
Appearance / health:
The African Giant Black Millipede is possibly the largest millipede species and can grow up to 11 inches in length. Coloration is usually a dark brown or black color.
Behavior / temperament:
African Giant Black Millipedes are calm and docile. They are non-aggressive and can be handled without a worry as they do not bite or sting. However, they do secrete a liquid in defense to predators that could cause an allergic reaction or irritant in some people. A simple wash with soap and water is sufficient to clean this liquid. These are the best millipedes to start with for beginners, but make a cool addition to anyone’s collection whether beginner or expert.
These millipedes are communal, so tank size will depend on how many are being housed together. Generally, a tank twice as long and twice as wide as the largest millipede should be used. This could be anything from a 5, 10, or 20 gallon or more tank. Babies can live in other smaller containers until large enough for an adult enclosure.
Temperatures should stay between 70-85F with humidity levels of 75-80%. Substrate is best as a mix of peat moss and potting soil, between 3-5 inches deep. This substrate should be kept moist. A water dish is not needed if misting the tank regularly. Tank décor such as twigs, leaf litter, moss and other items may be added if desired.
Babies and adults alike should be offered bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables. Their diet should also have calcium supplements, which can be found at nearly any pet store.
If enclosure temperatures and size are correct, millipedes will almost certainly breed on their own in captivity with no help from the keeper.
gentle docile, marvel, nice easy pets, elegant creatures, Gentle Giant, super safe
yellow liquid, unpleasent fliuds
environment damp, dont bite, humid, shiny black exoskeleton, tiny maroon legs
Not for beginners!
I loved my African giant black millipedes, but they can be challenging to keep.
AGB millipedes are supposed to live upwards of 10 years, but a lot of them in captivity don't make it very long at all. They have very specific food requirements that make them harder to keep than it seems on the surface (or than what you're told in a pet store). Most of the pet store animals I see are kept in environments that are all wrong - no where to burrow, wrong humidity, etc.
I did love handling them, their legs feel ticklish as they walk on you. Just be sure to wash your hands afterwards!
They were fascinating to watch walk around their tank, their legs move like waves. I had a skull decoration (originally for fish) and they would sleep in it. It was always funny when I had a guest over and one crawled out the eye hole of the skull, surprising them. It was also a lot of fun to watch them burrow against the glass of the terrarium.
I would definitely suggest getting some experience with other, less picky, invertebrates first. While AGB millipedes (or really, any millipede) can make a wonderful addition to a collection, it's sad when they die too early..
From NomadMorgan Jun 29 2015 8:46PM
African Giant Black Millipede
In South Africa the African Giant Black Millipede is called a shongololo. They are fascinating and funny little animals that here can grow up to 30cm long. They are ancient invertebrates that are completely herbivorous and will do very well on a diet of fruit and veggies. I would recommend keeping these in long shallow containers so that they don't climb too high and the accidentally fall. They are mainly terrestrial but will try their luck in climbing anything that they can. They are relatively easy to keep but they require a large amount of space and a heating pad on one side if you really want them to thrive and live a long time in captivity. A great specie of invertebrate and one of my favorite animals to see in nature..
From RobWedderburn Jan 30 2016 3:49AM
All those feet make them speedy
I hardly got to know the millipedes before on died and was eaten by the other, who then managed to escape and was never seen again! I secretly fear that it is still roaming around our house, waiting to pounce...
All in all, I was disappointed by the millipedes because I hardly got to see them whilst we had them! They were incredibly beautiful and truly fascinating, but they didn't last long with us, which is a great shame..
From sarahstanden Jan 8 2015 7:12AM