Millipedes are arthropods of the class Diplopoda, meaning double foot. Millipedes possess elongated, segmented bodies with two leg pairs per segment. These arthropods are detritivores that feed on decomposing organic material.Know More
Millipedes have long bodies with short antennae and short legs that are vertically in line with their bodies. This compact body shape enables them to plow through soil and detritus. Most millipedes are largely black, dark brown or grey with bolder shades of red, purple or yellow on their segments and legs. Small holes, or spiracles, on each segment allow them to breathe; millipede spiracles are most efficient in moist environments.
Millipedes inhabit nearly every habitat that includes dark, moist areas. They are commonly found under logs, in leaf litter and in compost. These areas provide a rich supply of decaying organic material – a millipede's primary food source. As detritivores, millipedes help to break down nutrients such as nitrogen and return them to the soil.
Millipedes are not capable of biting in defense. Instead, they cope with threats by curling into a ball and secreting toxic or unpalatable substances through their exoskeletons. The secretions of a few species contain cyanide and several tropical millipedes can even project toxin at a predator's eyes.
Millipedes are often confused with centipedes because of their overall shape and number of legs. However, millipedes always have two leg pairs per segment, while centipedes only have one. Further, centipedes are venomous and capable of delivering a sometimes painful bite.Learn more about Bugs
Millipedes don't all have the same number of legs; the amount of legs a millipede has will depend on how many body segments it has. Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment.Full Answer >
A female millipede lays eggs inside a nest underground where they undergo an incomplete metamorphosis. Once the eggs hatch, the baby millipedes remain in the nest until they molt at least once. The millipedes gain new body segments each time they molt until reaching adulthood in 2 to 5 years.Full Answer >
There are about a million known species of arthropods as of 2015. Estimates of the total number of arthropod species, including undiscovered ones, range from as low as 5 million to as high as 30 million.Full Answer >
Insects are cold blooded and have six legs, three main body parts and an exoskeleton. Insects also lay eggs and many have four wings.Full Answer >