Leach’s Train Millipede is a dark brown and red millipede that is completely unrelated to a leech, which is a type of blood-sucking worm. This species of millipede is named after Leach, a scientist, which is also spelled differently from the worm. Though millipedes have been known to stop trains, it is not certain if that quality is reflected in its common name, or if its physical resemblance to a train is the reason. (Numerous millipedes that were smashed while resting or crossing over train tracks left a slippery mess, making it dangerous for trains to operate until the tracks were cleaned in Australia in 2013.)
When stretched, the segments of this millipede’s body separate revealing a dark, narrow body beneath the armored plates. The dark brown, almost black, millipede has a red spot in the middle of each armored segment. This flat millipede has even flatter sides that stick out from each segment and are dotted with triangular red spots at the tips. Short dark antennae stick out by the head, and each segment has a pair of white legs on each side. The density of legs per segment makes it seem like there are 1,000 of them, but the actual number is far fewer than that.
Like most millipedes, it secretes a chemical defense with an odor that may be detectable. Another defensive maneuver is curling up to protect legs and an exposed underbelly. It is partial to dead and rotting hardwood, and usually lives underneath logs and stumps. Look for them under decaying deciduous hardwood in forests and woodlands.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.