MARCH 21, 2021
In our previous article, we mentioned that a terrarium is an enclosed earth with its own bioactive ecosystem. And to keep the TerraPlantae tradition, we will give you another list, this time it would be the fauna for the terrariums.
With that, here is a list of the animals we highly recommend for terrariums:
- Myriapods (Centipedes, Millipedes, and Pill bug Millipedes)
The Myriapods (Subphylum Myriapoda under Phylum Arthropoda) derived their name from myria- which means “ten thousand” and pous – which means “foot”. Although the name suggests that they may have myriad (10,000) legs, myriapod legs ranges from 750 to having fewer than 10 legs.
The Myriapods include the Centipedes (Class Chilopoda), Millipedes (Class Diplopoda), and Pill bug Millipedes (Superorder Oniscomorpha of Sub-Class Chilognatha under Class Diplopoda). The terms, families, and classes may be confusing however, it is just a nice-to-know information (but a must-know for our hardcore biology enthusiasts) in case you need to explain these to your friends too.
- Centipedes (Class Diplopoda)
Centipede species from Philippines
Centipedes are one of the favorites of the terrarium enthusiasts because their predatory behavior can be observed outside of the enclosure as they hunt for their prey and feed on them. Though it is seemingly unsightly to some, but as they say, nature must take its course. Centipedes are predominantly carnivorous and is one of the best options for terrariums because these can help control the population of your other animals inside the enclosure. And to differentiate the centipedes from millepedes, the centipedes have a flatter body while millepedes are more rounded. Also, centipedes are carnivores, while millipedes are detrivores.
Centipedes grow from a few millimeters to about 12 inches long so it would be highly recommended that you must prepare a medium to large enclosure to give centipedes a bigger area to roam around and hunt. Centipedes protect themselves through their venom and their capability to bite their predators and prey.
- Millepedes (Class Diplopoda)
Local Centipede from Antique, Philippines
Millipedes are also one of the favorites of the terrarium hobbyists as they are the slightly “cuter” and “kinder” version of centipedes. But still, both look hideous and monstrous to both, but to the enthusiasts; these are nature’s masterpieces. As centipedes are carnivores, these kind of pedes of the other hand are detritivores. Detritivores or detrivores consume and obtain nutrients from decomposing plant and animal parts as well as feces. Millipedes are characteristically slow and harmless to human than centipedes. Millipedes protect themselves by excreting a variety of chemical secretion and curl themselves into a ball.
If you are into enjoying yourself seeing slow-moving creatures, then the millipede is highly recommended as an added inhabitant of your terrarium.
- Pill bug Millipedes (Superorder Oniscomorpha)
Local Pill bug Millipede from Antique, Philippines
The Pill bug Millipedes, or Pillbu Milli, or Roly-Polies, are also becoming also a crow favorite due to their relatively huge size and cute appearance, as well as the easiness to be pictured as these animals are also slow-moving, as a characteristic of the species on their family.
Same with the millipedes, the Pill bugs are also detritivores and are good addition to your terrariums as they won’t harm other inhabitants in your enclosure.