Millipede

We’re going to talk about the Millipede today. They can be your best buddy because they eat decades from your surroundings, as well as bugs in some circumstances. Here is some information about this breed that demonstrates why they make good companions. So go ahead and continue reading.

Description

  • They are a group of arthropods that have two pairs of jointed legs on most of their body segments; they belong to the Diplopoda class, which gets its name from this trait.
  • Two single segments are fused to form each double-legged segment.
  • They have a spherical body with two pairs of small legs on each segment, as well as a hard exterior skeleton. Their legs are tucked behind their bodies, making it difficult to see them.
  • Most people don’t think of these creatures as pets, yet these fascinating insects make excellent companions for those who are fascinated by the strange and amazing.
  • The millipede, unlike its myriapod relative the centipede, is gentle and slow, and most importantly, does not bite.

Note: They are wild and can also be domesticated. 

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Scientific Name 

  • Diplopoda

Millipede Genus

  • Harpagomorpha 

Classification

  • Millipedes and centipedes are both members of the phylum Arthropoda and the subphylum Myriapoda, however, millipedes are classified as Diplopoda and centipedes as Chilopoda.

Characteristic

Head

  • A millipede’s head is normally rounded on top and flattened on the bottom, with a pair of massive mandibles in front of a plate-like structure called a gnathochilarium (“jaw lip”).

Size

  • They can grow to be anywhere between 0.12 inches (0.32 cm) and 10.5 inches (27 cm) long when fully mature.
  • Some millipedes emerge from their eggs with all of their legs.

Color

  • They are dark brown or black in appearance, with orange or red patterns on their bodies.

Food & Water 

  • They feed decaying or moist wood, as well as decomposing leaf matter, in their native habitat. However, if their environment becomes too dry, they will switch to living plants, and some will consume bugs on occasion.
  • You can feed them potato peelings, as well as other vegetables and fruits, in captivity. Squash, bananas, melon, apples, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce are just a few examples of vegetables you could feed it. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, should be avoided since it lacks sufficient minerals for the millipede to survive.
  • Because this creature is nocturnal, they usually feed at night. As a result, you should supply food every evening, but make sure to remove any uneaten things the next morning to avoid spoilage.
  • Water is also important to consider; while the millipede should be well in a humid environment, a tank that is too dry can be harmful to the organism. Take care to spray the enclosure’s walls as well as the substrate regularly. If needed, a damp cotton pad could be placed on top of the substrate to enable access to water (although it should be able to get sufficient water from the food you provide).

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Lifespan 

  • Millipede, unlike other arthropods with short lifetimes, can survive for seven to ten years.
  • However, with adequate care, a millipede can survive for up to 11 years.

House

  • Crawlspaces are ideal habitats for millipedes.
  • Boxes of stored objects and lumber are frequently found on the ground beneath a house.
  • They can eat dead leaves blown into the crawl space, as well as small bits of moist or decaying wood.

Etymology

Even though the word “millipede” comes from the Latin word “thousand feet,” no species with 1,000 or more legs were known until the discovery of Eumillipes Persephone, which has over 1,300 legs.

Reproduction

  • Males and females must typically mate to generate offspring, with males depositing sperm directly into the female’s reproductive organs.
  • There may or may not be any signs of courtship. 
  • To deposit their sperm, male bristly millipedes must first spin a web.

Ecology

Habitat & Distribution

  • They thrive in deciduous temperate, subtropical, and tropical woods, where their population density can approach 1000 individuals per square meter.

Burrowing

  • Millipedes’ diplosegments have changed and evolved with their burrowing habits, and nearly all millipedes live mostly underground.
  • They burrow using three major methods: bulldozing, wedging, and boring.

Predators & Parasites

  • A vast variety of species preyed on them, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects.
  • Before digesting their food, mammalian predators such as coatis and meerkats roll captured millipedes on the ground to deplete and rub off their defensive secretions, while certain poison dart frogs are thought to incorporate millipede harmful chemicals into their defenses.

Defense Mechanisms

  • Millipedes’ primary defense method is to curl into a tight coil, sheltering their sensitive legs inside an armored exoskeleton, due to their lack of speed and inability to bite or sting.

Behavior

Interaction With Other Species

  • Mutualistic relationships, in which both species gain from the encounter, or commensal relationships, in which only one species benefits while the other is unaffected, are formed by some millipedes with organisms of other species.

Interactions With Humans

  • They do not bite, and their protective secretions are normally safe to humans, causing only slight skin discoloration.
  • However, the secretions of some tropical species can cause pain, irritation, local erythema, edema, blisters, eczema, and cracked skin.

Bite

  • They protect themselves in the same way as other animals do, except they do not bite.
  • Millipedes, on the other hand, can curl up into a ball if they feel threatened.
  • To fight predators like spiders, they can release a fluid toxin from their glands in some cases.

Allergic Reaction

  • If you have a millipede allergy, you may have the following symptoms after handling them: hives or blisters.
  • The skin is flushed, and there is a rash.

Home Prevention

  • Garbage and compost should be kept in a secure location. Maintain a clean and dry environment on your flooring (this eliminates both food and water sources for millipedes). 
  • Caulk any foundation cracks or cracks, as well as around electrical and plumbing.
  • Ensure that house wrap and thresholds are in good working order and that they fit nicely.

Giant Millipede

  • They are gigantic arthropods with a segmented body, an exoskeleton, and a plethora of legs!
  • They usually have a dark brown or black tint to them.

Millipede vs Centipede

  • They have two sets of legs per segment, both of which are positioned right beneath their bodies.
  • They have only one set of legs per segment, which are on the side of the body.
  • Centipedes devour insects after their venom has killed them.
  • Decomposing plants is a favorite food of Millipede .

Millipede- FAQ

How many legs does a Millipede have?

Despite the fact that no millipede species has 1,000 legs, most species of this burrowing arthropod have between 40 and 400 legs, which are more than enough to propel the millipede ahead with force.

What is a Millipede?

They are a type of arthropod that has two pairs of jointed legs on most of their body segments.

What does a Millipede look like?

They are lengthy, brownish in color, long and slender, and resemble worms with legs in appearance. 

How many legs do Millipede have?

Despite the fact that no millipede species has 1,000 legs, most species of this burrowing arthropod have between 40 and 400 legs, which are more than enough to propel the millipede ahead with force.

What makes a Centipede different from a Millipede?

They have two sets of legs per segment, both of which are positioned right beneath their bodies. They have only one set of legs per segment, which are on the side of the body. Centipedes devour insects after their venom has killed them. Decomposing plants are a favorite food of millipedes.