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.
It is now proved that this millipede is Anoplodesmus saussurii.
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EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/11 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 2 August, 2009 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 55′ 19.761239991788″ N 74° 51′ 57.39768019884″ E | Shutter speed : 1/200s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.