Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs?

Dart frog vivaria have become increasingly common among animal keepers. The beautiful colors and fascinating movements of these little frogs are a big draw for hobbyists. But many people who keep dart frogs as pets want to make their surroundings look more authentic and attractive.

The inclusion of millipedes in a vivarium housing dart frogs is an unorthodox choice. Although it may sound odd, there are valid considerations for keeping millipedes and dart frogs in the same enclosure. In this article, we will provide information about “Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs.”

Overview of Dart Frogs

Dart frogs, or Dendrobatidae as they are known in the scientific community, are little, colorful frogs that are native to Central and South America. The bright coloring of these tiny frogs is well-known as a deterrent to would-be predators. Because of the toxicity signaled by their vivid colors, most predators avoid eating them. In the wild, dart frogs eat mostly insects like ants and mites, which is where they get their toxicity.

Due to their eye-catching appearance and quirky habits, dart frogs are a popular pet. Adults normally range in length from 1.5 to 2.5 inches, making them a little creature. When kept in vivariums that mimic their native environments, enthusiasts can study the animals’ unique behaviors and social connections.

Overview of Millipedes

Millipedes, on the other hand, are arthropods of the class Diplopoda. Long, segmented bodies and a large number of legs give these terrestrial organisms the appearance of having a thousand legs, while the actual number of legs varies by species. Millipedes are important to the environment because they decompose dead plants and add nutrients to the soil through their excrement.

Millipedes are a diverse group that includes hundreds of species with a vast range in appearance, size, and activity. Some millipedes are brightly colored while others prefer to keep a low profile. Millipedes are slow, quiet creatures that spend most of their life foraging in leaf litter or on the forest floor for dead leaves and other plant materials.

Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs?

Since millipedes and dart frogs need distinct environments, housing them together might not be the greatest idea. Millipedes prefer a somewhat drier habitat with decaying plant matter to feed on, whereas dart frogs need humid environments with plenty of hiding spaces and water supplies.

The Merits of Co-Habitating Dart Frogs and Millipedes

Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs

At first glance, it may seem strange to house dart frogs and millipedes in the same vivarium due to the toxicity of the frogs. Nonetheless, there are a number of convincing arguments for investigating this unusual vivarium collaboration:

  • A Naturalistic Habitat: Dart frogs do best in naturalistic surroundings that are similar to the ones they’d find in the wild. Because of the importance of millipedes to the dart frog’s food, the two species frequently coexist in the wild.
  • Biological Control: Both species can benefit from having access to a more naturalistic vivarium.
    Millipedes are detritivores, meaning they eat dead plants and help break down organic debris in the substrate, making them an effective biological control agent. Millipedes in the vivarium can help keep things clean by eating decaying matter and other garbage that might otherwise build up.
  • Aesthetic Allure:  Millipedes’ segmented body and vivid coloring add visual interest to the vivarium. The vivarium’s contrast makes it more interesting to enthusiasts and onlookers.
    Stress Reduction: Millipedes are calming since dart frogs don’t have to worry about being attacked by them. Dart frogs, which are known to be easily stressed, can benefit from their calm and inconspicuous demeanor.

Selecting Compatible Species

Dart frogs and millipedes can live together, but only if you pick the right species of each. Several important factors include:

  • Dart Frog Species: Unfortunately, not all species of dart frog can peacefully coexist with millipedes. Some dart frogs may be territorial because they view millipedes as a threat to their food supply, and this may explain why some of them exhibit violent behavior. Dart frogs that are less aggressive and more suited to living in harmony tend to be the more docile of the two extremes.
  • Millipede Species: Similarly, not all species of millipedes get along well with one another in a vivarium. Dart frogs could be harmed by the defensive mechanisms used by certain millipedes. Choosing millipede species that are harmless to dart frogs is crucial.
  • Size Compatibility: When selecting species, take into account the relative sizes of the dart frogs and millipedes. The millipede population should not be too high, as this could endanger the dart frogs or cause them undue stress. The dart frogs shouldn’t be able to eat the millipedes, either.

Dart frogs such as Dendrobates tinctorius, Ranitomeya imitator, and Ranitomeya variabilis are recommended due to their calm demeanor and ability to live in vivaria with other species.

The Ivory millipede (Chicobolus spinigerus), the Florida Ivory millipede (Apheloria virginiensis), and numerous vibrant species from the Spirostreptida group are among the recommended millipede species for vivarium cohabitation.

Crafting a Cohabitation-Friendly Vivarium

Careful planning and consideration of environmental conditions are required for dart frogs and millipedes to live together in the same vivarium. Here are some essential guidelines for building a vivarium that is suitable for multiple inhabitants:

  • Vivarium Size: Begin with a vivarium that is large enough to house both your dart frogs and millipedes comfortably. A 20- to 30-gallon tank is suggested as a starting point for the enclosure.
  • Substrate: Use something that drains effectively, like a mixture of coconut coir and sphagnum moss. With the help of this substrate, an ideal environment may be provided for both species.
  • Flora and Decor: To create a more natural setting, real plants like bromeliads, ferns, and mosses should be incorporated. Millipedes can be given a place to hide by including things like cork bark or mounds of leaf litter.
  • Humidity and temperature: Keep everything between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit humid and warm enough for millipedes and dart frogs. Incorporate heating mats, heaters, or misting systems as needed.
  • Feeding: Provide a varied diet of small insects, such as fruit flies and springtails, for your dart frogs. Millipedes get the bulk of their nutrition from decomposing plant material in the substrate, although organic leaf litter is a welcome addition.
  • Compatibility Monitoring: To promote peaceful coexistence between dart frogs and millipedes, it is important to monitor their behavior on a regular basis. Possible species separation action includes the appearance of stress or aggressive behavior.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Keep the vivarium clean and free of trash by doing regular maintenance including replacing the substrate and doing spot cleanings. Source:

Potential Challenges and Considerations

It’s important to keep in mind the potential obstacles and implications of sharing a home with dart frogs and millipedes, despite the fact that doing so can be rewarding.

  • Dart frogs are strictly insectivorous, whereas millipedes eat plants. It is crucial to make sure that both species are getting enough to eat.
  • In terms of compatibility, not all millipede and dart frog species can live together. Learn as much as possible about the species interactions you’re risking by housing them together.
  • There is a risk of disease transmission when keeping different animals in close quarters. Maintain strict cleanliness standards and implement a quarantine policy for new entrants.
  • Dart frogs can climb quite well, so it’s important to make sure they can’t get out of their enclosure. Make sure the vivarium has locked doors and no way for the animals to escape.
  • Give both animals plenty of room to roam and plenty of places to hide to reduce territorial tensions.


A Summary of Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs

Dart frogs and millipedes sharing a vivarium is a fascinating and rewarding experiment for seasoned amphibians and insect keepers. This one-of-a-kind collaboration, when carried out properly, can produce a physically appealing and ecologically sound home for both species.

Success in this endeavor requires careful study, careful species selection, and constant observation. Understanding the requirements of both dart frogs and millipedes allows vivarium keepers to create a thriving ecosystem, revealing the wonders of nature despite their constrained settings. I hope you like reading “Can I Keep Millipedes With Dart Frogs.”

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