world's largest millipede

African giant black millipede
38.7 cm (15.2 in)
Coppell, Texas, USA
August 1, 2003

The largest millipede in the world is a full grown African giant black millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) which is owned by Jim Klinger of Coppell, Texas, USA and measures 38.7 cm (15.2 in) in length, 6.7 cm (2.6 in) in circumference and has 256 legs.


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.

The name "millipede" is a compound word formed from the Latin roots milli ("thousand") and ped ("foot"). Despite their name, millipedes do not have 1,000 legs, although the rare species Illacme plenipes has up to 750.[2] Common species have between 36 and 400 legs. The class contains around 10,000 species in 13 orders and 115 families. The giant African millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas), known as shongololos, is the largest species of millipede.

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.

Millipedes can be easily distinguished from the somewhat similar and related centipedes (Class Chilopoda), which move rapidly, and have a single pair of legs for each body segment. However, unlike centipedes, millipedes are by nature not predators, and due to their slow, non-aggressive behaviour and simple diet of decomposing leaves, are easy to keep and ideal as pets.

African Giant Black

African Giant Black Millipedes are beautiful, extremely docile, moisture-loving giants that make the perfect pet arthropod! These millipedes have the ability to curl themselves up into a ball if disturbed, and can secrete a defensive liquid that could be dangerous if put into the eyes or mouth. Make sure to wash your hands if exposed to the liquid. To find the number of legs on your millipede, count the body segments, multiply by 4, and subtract 10. Of course, many millipedes have missing legs, so the number will be general. African Giant Black Millipedes are some of the largest millipedes in the world. They can grow to be as thick around as your thumb. Many times these millipedes are found in pet shops where they are full of mites. A few mites on your millipede is generally harmless, but if there is a huge number of mites living on your millipede, it is suggested to get the mites off. To do this, take a cotton ball, dip it in rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly, and wipe it over the mites. Rubbing alcohol and petroleum jelly does not seem to harm the millipede, as long as it does not penetrate the millipedes' breathing pores, on the side of their body. African Giant Black Millipedes should be the first millipede considered if you are a newcomer to the hobby.

No comments:

Post a Comment