Archispirostreptus gigas

Archispirostreptus gigas

  • Spirostreptus gigas
  • Graphidostreptus giganteus
  • Graphidostreptus gigas
common name:
  • Giant millipede
  • African black millipede
  • Tanzanian giant millipede
Archispirostreptus gigas distribution

With its length of 25 cm or more, Archispirostreptus gigas is one of the longest (if not the longest) millipede on Earth. This species is extremely attractive, popular and comparatively easy to be kept. It lives 5-6 years. Can be raised in groups. An animal of this species can paint your fingers in violet with its faeces. It should be regularly and carefully hold by hands to get used to it and quit this habit.


Archispirostreptus gigas need vast tanks. The width of the terrarium should be at least equal to the length of the biggest millipede kept in it and it should be long twice more. Millipedes can’t crawl on glass, but they’re strong enough to catch to the edge of the tank, so it should be covered well.


All millipedes are diggers in different degrees, so the substrate should be at least 10 cm. You can use a mixture of peat and sterilized compost or leaf soil from flower shop. The substrate could be disinfected by freezing in a fridge. Millipedes eat soil and produce many faeces, so the terrarium should be regularly cleaned.


There are different opinions about the most suitable temperature of raising millipedes. As Archispirostreptus gigas is a tropical millipede, many terrarists recommend high temperature 24°C – 28°C or even 30°C. Do not place heaters below the terrarium, otherwise the substrate will be dried too fast leading to unpleasant condensation on the glass. It’s a good decision to place the heater on half of the back of the terrarium, so the inmates will be able to choose the most appropriate temperature.

Other terrarists do not recommend high temperature. In this case you can keep millipedes in room temperature (22°C) with small reductions at night.

The animals will feel good in both cases. Temperature will only affect their metabolism and activity.

The substrate should be always wet (but not dripping) 75 – 80%, so it should be regularly sprayed (spring or filtered water is recommended).


Millipedes do not need special lighting. In most cases they hide from bright light.


Archispirostreptus gigas supply with water from food and if enough humidity is supported, they do nod need a constant source of water. You can place a very shallow dish of clean fresh water if you like.


Archispirostreptus gigas are vegetarians. In nature they consume decayed plants mostly. In captivity you can provide them a large variety of soft fruits and vegetables like lettuce leaves, tomatoes, melon, peaches, bananas and cucumbers which they especially like. Food should be placed in a shallow dish or else – if placed directly on substrate it can cause mites invasion. Food should not be replaced regularly with fresh, as millipedes like decayed food. It can stay in the dish for several days. It’s a good idea to place leaf rack. The substrate should be always clean, as it’s a part of their diet.

Attention! Millipedes need calcium to build their exoskeleton. Food should be powdered with calcium and reptile vitamins. You can use crashed sepia bones (from pet shops) instead.

Archispirostreptus gigas sexing


To find out what the sex of Archispirostreptus gigas is, you should look at it from below. Males have a pair of modified legs "Gonopods”. They are at the 7th segment of the body. Males have two different forms of gonopods - hidden, and visible. Visible gonopods are easy to be seen – they look like two stumps on the 7th segment. Hidden gonopods cannot be seen, so they are just two gaps in the segment. Females do not have gonopods and their 7th segment is just like the others.


Archispirostreptus gigas twist on rolls and secrete a chemical out of special glands on the body. These liquids can cause damage if they reach into the eyes or mouth. They can also cause allergic reaction to sensitive skin. You should always wash your hands after handling. Do not pres or harm millipedes – they won’t hurt you if they feel safe.

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