Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Millipede - (Eurymerodesmus spp.)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/24/2014

Millipedes live in the dark, moist places of the earth, searching for food and hiding from view.

Millipedes differ from centipedes in that their legs are paired in each body segment (except for the first three). Centipedes have only one leg per body segment. Millipedes come in a variety of colors. Some have flatter bodies, while others are very tubular. Certain species are even toxic. Most coil up when threatened to protect their legs. They have tiny holes, called spiracles, on the sides of their body that allow them to breathe moist air.

Millipedes eat a variety of things. Their appetite for dead plant matter, fungi and insects help keep nutrients from these sources cycling through the food web. Millipedes usually search for food at night and prefer to remain in dark places.

Females lay their fertilized eggs in mounds of their own feces. Newly hatched Millipedes are shorter than adults, but they will add more segments after each molt.

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Category: Millipede
Common name: Millipede
Scientific Name: Eurymerodesmus spp.

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Diplopoda
     Order: Polydesmida
      Family: Eurymerodesmidae
       Genus: Eurymerodesmus
        Species: spp.

Adult Size (Length): 6mm to 130mm (0.24in to 5.12in)

Identifying Colors: black, brown, red, ivory, white

Additional Descriptors: legs, plates, segments, worm, ridges

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.