Millipede

Scientific Name:

Diplopoda (taxonomic class)

Type:

Invertebrate

Habitat:

Forests, plains, gardens, and more

Range:

Worldwide

Status:

Species range from Least Concern to Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Millipedes are long, multi-legged arthropods in the class Diplopoda. They are most recognizable by the up to 200 segments that make up their bodies. Each segment has two legs on it, meaning millipedes can have up to 400 legs. Across the thousands of millipede species, length can range from 0.08 to 11 inches. Millipedes vary greatly in color including black, red, brown, and white.

Fast Facts:

  • There are around 10,000 species of millipede around the world.

  • Millipede means "thousand foot" in Latin (milli = thousand, ped = food). However, millipedes can usually have up to only 400 legs.

  • Millipedes are thought to be one of the first types of animals to set foot on land around 443 million years ago.3

  • Millipedes will coil up in a ball to protect their legs when threatened.

  • Millipedes contain spiracles, or tiny holes, on the sides of their bodies that allow them to breath fresh moist air not just through their heads.

  • Millipedes normally feed at night on things such as dead plant matter and fungi. As decomposers, this means millipedes help to keep things moving in the food cycle.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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