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Leach's Train Millipede (Euryurus leachii)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Leach's Train Millipede.




Despite the similar phonetics in its common name, this millipede does not latch on and suck blood like the famous leech.



 Updated: 5/6/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




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
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Diplopoda
      Order: Polydesmida
        Family: Euryuridae
          Genus: Euryurus
            Species: leachii
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Euryurus leachii
Category: Millipede
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 130mm (0.12in to 5.07in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; red; white
Descriptors: red triangle corners; flat sides; segmented; gaps; white legs; short antennae; curled; flat-backed;
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
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. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.