|Armored millipedes vary in size, with some species
reaching almost a foot in length. Despite their shell like armor, many
rely on poison glands to deter enemies from attacking. Armored millipedes
rest during the day. At might they forage for rotting vegetation among
the dead leaves on the tropical forest floor. The wavelike pulse of their
short legs gives them considerable power when burrowing.
Habitat: Armored millipedes push their way through soil and decaying vegetation with ease. Under piles of leaf mold or in damp crevices, millipedes can be found resting by day or feeding at night. There are also some species that climb trees to feed on vegetable matter caught in the branches.
Food and Feeding: Unlike centipedes, with which they are often confused, armored millipedes do not hunt living creatures. Instead, they eat the leaves and other matter that fall from trees and decay on the ground in their tropical forest habitat. Millipedes may also attack crops planted by humans. But they are unlikely to be a principal source of damage. Their jaws are simply not strong enough to pierce anything that is not already damaged or decaying.
Defenses: Because armored millipedes move slowly, they are vulnerable to attack. As a result, they have developed several means of defense. One defense is the armor itself. Many species, such as the pill millipedes, curl up into a ball when attacked. Some species become as large as a golf ball. Another defense is poison glands. In most cases the poison is constantly secreted to give the millipede a toxic coating. Some larger species can spray their poison as far as three feet. Other defenses include bright markings to warn off predators. A millipede that lives in the sequoia forests of California is even luminous.
Breeding: Armored millipedes may mate for several hours. The male winds around the female and holds her with his front legs. Fertilization occurs within the female’s body. Depending on the species, she may lay up to 300 eggs. Unlike earthworms and most insects, many female centipedes and millipedes tend their eggs. Some disguise the eggs by coating them with excrement. Others build an intricate nest and coil themselves around the eggs. Various kinds of nests are built. The usual materials are soil and excrement, although some millipedes spin a nest of a silklike substance. When it hatches, the armored millipede may have only a fraction of the adult number of legs. It gains more legs every time it molts, or sheds, its hard outer shell. After elaborate leg waving courtship rituals, millipedes may mate for many hours.
Related Species: There are 8,000 species of millipede worldwide.
Distribution: Found in the United States and in tropical forests around the world.
Conservation: Armored millipedes are not directly threatened. But, like other inhabitants of tropical forest, they are at risk from the continued destruction of their habitat.
Special Adaptations of Armored Millipedes:
Did You Know:
To return to animal menu click here
YOU FIND ANYTHING NOT WORKING PLEASE EMAIL ME!
I do try to keep this site working at all times but sometimes I don't catch everything
What page (URL) and what animal
Click Here; To Email Me:
Fast Counter by bCentral
All material copyright ©1996-2018
Ladywildlife©..& mcmxci imp b/imp
inc. wildlife fact files tm