Millipede curled up

Title Info
Common name Millipede
Scientific name Diplopoda
Taxonomic group Myriapoda
Level Class
Source Dan L. Perlman
Nutrient cycles Decomposition; Carbon
Change over time Decomposition
Organisms Animals
Animals Other invertebrates
Lessons Decomposers and detritivores
Date 1997
Location Newton,Massachusetts,USA,North America

Millipede curled up in leaf litter, USA. Millipedes like this one can be easily found in decaying leaf litter where they feed the energy-rich but nutrient poor dead leaves and other organic matter. In many ecosystems they play an important role in decomposing dead plant matter. Millipedes often curl into a spiral like this as a defensive posture, as it only protects their soft underside. Although they look superficially like centipedes, they are not predators as centipedes are, and every body segment of the millipede has two pairs of legs (centipedes have one pair per segment). Their name, which means thousand feet, is not accurate, although they may have as many as 400 legs. Some tropical species grow to be 11 inches (27 cm) long.