Millipedes

Author: Dennis Murphy  

Millipedes Millipedes have short segmented antennae and 2 pairs of legs to each body segment, with the exception of the first 3 segments. Head bears the mouthparts, consisting of a pair of jaws and a cluster of simple eyes on each side of the head. Body is round and not flattened as in the centipedes and the outer casing is quite hard. Segments are telescoped and variable in number. Movement of the body appears to occur in waves, running from front to rear. Reproductive organs open towards the head and are not located posteriorly. Millipedes may attain a length of 20cm.

Millipedes generally feed on organic matter, usually vegetable. They rear their young in a variety of situations, depending on the species but usually require dampness. They do not inflict a wound but produce a fluid that stains and has a repellent effect on other arachnids and insects.

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