AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:24 pm

Africa Wild Millipede and Centipede Book: Myriapoda

Upload your picture of a millipede or centipede and add a description underneath. Please only do one species per post.

All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.

Index to Millipedes and Centipedes (Myriapoda)

The Myriapoda of the Kruger National Park

Re: AW Insect Book: Millipedes - Pics and Description

Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:26 pm

Class: Diplopoda (Millipedes)
Order: Sphaerotheriida
Family: Sphaerotheriidae
Sphaerotherium giganteum Pill Millipede viewtopic.php?p=175846#p175846
Sphaerotherium sp. Pill Millipede viewtopic.php?p=244054#p244054

Order: Spirobolida
Family: Pachybolidae
Centrobolus sp. Red Millipede viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3226&p=163230#p163230
Centrobolus sp. Red Millipede viewtopic.php?p=236789#p236789

Order: Spirostreptida (Common Millipedes)
Family: Spirostreptidae
Doratogonus flavifilis Giant Millipede viewtopic.php?p=251291#p251291

Class: Chilopoda (Centipedes)
Order: Scolopendromorpha.
Family: Scolopendridae
Ethmostigmus trigonopodus Giant Blue Centipede, Blue Ring Centipede viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3226&p=161682#p161682

AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:06 pm

Giant Blue Centipede, Blue Ring Centipede Ethmostigmus trigonopodus
Class: Chilopoda. Order: Scolopendromorpha. Family: Scolopendridae

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park - S128

The Scolopendromorpha have 21 or 23 body segments with the same number of paired legs. Their antennae have 17 or more segments. Their eyes (if present) have at least 5 facets on each side. The order comprises the three families Cryptopidae, Scolopendridae and Scolopocryptopidae.

South Africa (KNP; Mpumalanga; Limpopo); Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Re: AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:56 pm

Red Millipede, Mozambique Millipede Centrobolus sp.
Class: Diplopoda. Order: Spirobolida. Family: Pachybolidae. Subfamily: Centrobolinae

Image © Twigga
Kruger National Park

Spirobolid millipedes of the order Spirobolida are distinguished by the presence of distinct pleurites on each body segment, just above the legs, and a pronounced suture that runs vertically down the front of the head. Both pairs of legs on the seventh segment of the male are modified into gonopods. Spirobolidans are smooth, cylindrical millipedes with 35-60 body segments in adults. They can be distinguished by the number of legs: spirobolidans have one pair on each of the first five body segments, two pairs on succeeding segments. They possess repugnatorial glands that produce defensive secretions, such as benzoquinones and hydroquinones, that may irritate and stain the skin. Species are often large and conspicuous, and sometimes brightly coloured and patterned.
Spirobolids have both pairs on legs of the seventh segment modified into gonopods, which are used during sperm transfer into the gonopore of the female. Eggs are laid into soil or detritus. Newly emerged young possess three pairs of legs. Development is gradual and gonopods are first formed during several nymphal stages and molts preceding the final adult form. Growth, and therefore moulting, continues through adulthood, and their life span is typically several years.
Spirobolid millipedes are detritivores, feeding on decaying vegetable matter.
The order Spirobolida is a species-rich order, with more than 1200 species described from the sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia.

There 23 species of Centrobolus in the eastern half of Southern Africa. Most species are similar in size (about 10 cm) and appearance (red in
colour, some with black marks). Their habitat preference is woodland and coastal forest.

Index to Millipedes & Centipedes (Myriapoda)

Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:29 pm

Pill Millipede Species of Sphaerotherium, possibly Sphaerotherium giganteum
Class: Diplopoda. Order: Sphaerotheriida. Family: Sphaerotheriidae

We saw it in Richard's Bay. It was about 10 cm long and about as fat as my thumb. When you touch it, it rolls up into a ball.

Unlike other millipedes, giant pill-millipedes cannot excrete poisonous defence fluids. The rolling-in behaviour is a good defence against predators, but leads to communication break-down with a potential mate. In order to mate with her, the male has to “uncoil” the female. To do this he lets out a specific signal by rubbing special ribs on the last pair of legs across nubs on the body shield. The male thus produces sounds similar to those made by cicadas. The females detect the vibrations emitted by stridulations. Each species produces a different song.

Sphaerotherium giganteum is the largest species of its genus. Its size can easily reach 6 cm and more. When rolled up, they are the size of a golf ball.

Links: Some millipedes need “good vibrations” to mate!; Sympatric Sphaerotherium species, South Africa 1972: - Supplementum

Interesting read here, very entertaining!

Re: AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:45 pm

Red Millipede, Mozambique Millipede Centrobolus sp.
Class: Diplopoda. Order: Spirobolida. Family: Pachybolidae. Subfamily: Centrobolinae

Image © Lisbeth
Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, southern KwaZulu-Natal

Re: AW Insect Book: Millipedes - Pics and Description

Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:37 pm

Pill Millipede Sphaerotherium sp.
Class: Diplopoda. Order: Sphaerotheriida. Family: Sphaerotheriidae

Image © Peter Connan
Maphelane, iSimangaliso, KwaZulu-Natal

Sphaerotherium, the Pill Millipede is common in coastal forest where it feeds on decaying plant matter.

Re: AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:41 pm

The order Spirostreptida is represented by four families, 23 genera and 228 species in Africa south of the Zambezi and Kunene Rivers. The spirostreptidans are probably the most familiar, conspicuous and commonly encountered group of diplopods in the tropics.
The spirostreptidan order contains worm-like millipedes which have elongate, cylindrical bodies comprising 40-70 body rings. They have a compact group of ocelli arranged in the form of a triangle at the base of the antenna. They can be distinguished externally from the other worm-like order, the Spirobolida, by the absence of a fleshy pad on the last segment of the legs of the male. Instead, most spirostreptidans possess a similar pad on the fourth and fifth segments of the leg. In addition, the spirobolids are characterised by a distinct mid-ventral frontal suture on the head, while this is absent in the spirostreptidans. The gonopods of the two orders are also distinct.
Females or juveniles currently have little value when identifying millipedes. The gonopods, found on the seventh body ring of mature males, are modified legs which serve to transfer sperm to the reproductive opening of the female. These gonopods are extremely elaborate and are the most useful character in millipede identification.

The genus Doratogonus contains 25 species, at least 20 in Southern Africa, mainly in eastern part of South Africa, with only 1 species known from Namibia. Other species are from subequatorial Africa.

Links: An illustrated key to the spirostreptidan (Diplopoda: Spirostreptida) genera of Southern Africa, by M. L. Hamer

Re: AW Millipede & Centipede Book: Pics & Descriptions

Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:02 pm

Giant Millipede Doratogonus flavifilis
Class: Diplopoda. Order: Spirostreptida. Family: Spirostreptidae.

Image © BluTuna
S44, Kruger National Park

Doratogonus flavifilis, is the only Giant Millipede that is differently coloured – all others are black. Metasoraites black or blackish-brown. The posterior margin
reddish-brown. Prosoniites yellowish in the concealed part. Antennae and legs yellow or reddish-brown. 62-63 segments. Width 3-10 mm.

Mozambique; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga)

Links: The Myrio]poda of South Africa. By C. Attems. Annals of the South African Museum. VOLUME XXVI. Page 334