Black and Yellow Flat Millepede

Black and Yellow Flat Millepede
Black and Yellow Flat Millepede

Even though this is a very common millipede in our garden I was not able to identify scientifically. This resembles morphologically the Apheloria genus found in America, but I doubt it belongs to that.

They do not bite humans. Generally found in leaf litter , millipedes tend to avoid light and may discharge a foul odor by secreting 2-Nitroethenylbenzenes to discourage predators. Pachydesmus crassicutis is known to produce hydrogen Cyanide gas to repel predators.

Millipedes, are arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment (except for the first segment behind the head which does not have any appendages at all, and the next few which only have one pair of legs). Each segment that has two pairs of legs is a result of two single segments fused together as one. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical bodies, although some are flattened dorso-ventrally, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball, like a pillbug.

Millipedes are detritivores and slow moving. Most millipedes eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter, moisturising the food with secretions and then scraping it in with the jaws. However they can also be a minor garden pest, especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings. Signs of millipede damage include the stripping of the outer layers of a young plant stem and irregular damage to leaves and plant apices.

This class contains around 10,000 species. There are 13 orders and 115 families.

The giant African millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) is the largest species of millipede.

5 thoughts on “Black and Yellow Flat Millepede

  1. Olivier, thanks for commenting at my blog. I also thought that it was Harpaphe haydeniana. But I doubt this American millipede is found in India. It is very common and resembles Harpaphe haydeniana. It smells odd but not like Almond or hydrogen Cyanide which Harpaphe haydeniana secretes. I did not dare to taste to find out. So I sent my cat to test. It found the secretion very irritating but not fatal. Cat was vomiting that whole day ;-). Lack of guides to identify such common species is a big hurdle.
    regards
    Krishna Mohan

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