Animal Species:Polydesmid millipedes

Polydesmid millipedes make up the largest group of millipedes with 2,700 known species worldwide

Polydesmid millipede

Mike Gray © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Polydesmid millipedes

Identification

Adult polydesmid millipedes have between 18 and 21 segments. Each segment contains two pairs of legs and wing-like projections, giving them a hairy, flattened appearance. They have many pores along their body that produce hydrocyanide, formic acid and other irritants used for defence. Most species release the liquid slowly, but some can discharge it as a spray.

Size range

2-12 cm

Distribution

Polydesmid millipedes are found throughout Australia.

Habitat

Polydesmid millipedes live in forests.

Feeding and Diet

Polydesmid millipedes are typically blind, living in the leaf litter and feeding on decaying vegetation. Many species are the favourite food of funnel-web spiders.

Classification

Order:
Polydesmida
Class:
Diplopoda
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags millipedes, myriapods, invertebrates, arthropods, identification, wildlife of sydney,