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Millipede (Eurymerodesmus spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Millipede

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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Millipede Thumbnail image of the Millipede
Image Credit: Leann T.S. taken in Shenandoah National Park, VA
Full-sized image #2 of the Millipede Thumbnail image #2 of the Millipede
Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Millipedes live in the dark, moist places of the earth, searching for food while they hide from the rest of the world.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 helps 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 add more segments to their length after each molt.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Segmented insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Diplopoda
      Order: Polydesmida
        Family: Eurymerodesmidae
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          Genus: Eurymerodesmus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eurymerodesmus spp.
Category: Millipede
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 130mm (0.23" to 5.11")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, brown, red, ivory, white
Descriptors: legs, plates, segments, worm, ridges

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 130mm (5.1in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 68mm
Hi: 130mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
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State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Millipede may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Millipede. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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