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Millepedes have two pairs of legs on each segment. This one had a long cylindrical body. They are slow moving insects but good at burrowing into the soil. They eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter. They use secretions to moisten the food and then scrap it into their mouths with their jaws. Their primary defense mechanism is to roll into a tight coil. Some species can secret a foul smelling liquid as a secondary defense. This liquid can be a mild irritation to human skin. Femals can lay from 20-300 eggs depending on the species. The eggs hatch in a few weeks and the young go through 7-8 stages before maturing to adults.


Moist humid environments such as wooded areas that have lots of decaying vegetation.


I spotted this milleped at the bottom of a large 40 foot sinkhole in the Juniper Wilderness area of the Ocala National Forest. I scooped it up on the tip of my walking stick and it rolled into a defensive ball.

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Karen Hileman
Spotted by
Karen Hileman

Ocala, Florida, USA

Spotted on Jul 28, 2012
Submitted on Aug 28, 2012

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