Parajulid Millipede

COMMON NAME:  Parajulid Millipede
SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Genus and species unknown
FAMILY:  Parajulidae
ORDER:  Julida

On the rim of a clay pot. 12 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

On the rim of a clay pot. 12 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

This small millipede is between 1-2 inches in length and very slim.

I found it on the cold steel of the kitchen sink. Not wanting it to curl up and die there, I took it and placed it in a clay plant pot of basil next to a sunlit window. It immediately crawled up on the edge of the pot and began pacing up and down, dancing for my camera.


Face shot. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Face shot. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

This millipede is so small, I had difficulty getting the aurofocus to pick it up.

In this photo you can kind of see a face. It may not have been happy with me removing it from its wet location to a relatively drier one. It could be pacing and shaking 50 of its fists at me.


Side iew. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Side iew. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

A millipede has 2 legs per each body segment, which differs from a centipede, which has only 1 leg per body segment.


Left eye view. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Left eye view. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

It has some water drops on its head from when it was at the kitchen sink.


Body stripes. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Body stripes. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Here you can see the brown lines down the length of its body.


Peek-a-boo. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Peek-a-boo. 11 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

I most often see these millipedes outside under decaying foliage or rocks. When the weather turns cold they begin finding their way inside the house.


Protective Position. 24 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Protective Position. 24 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Another of the same species outside, curled up in a protective position. It looks like it may be emerging out of its skin. Unless it’s been injured?
I’ve noticed they also move to the curled up position when one of the dogs steps on or very near them. I’ve also seen them curled up under rocks.


Crawling Outside. 20 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Crawling Outside. 20 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Another of the species crawling along outside in its natural habitat.

 


A Few Details About This Millipede Family:

Range – Primarily in North America but also in Central America and East Asia.

Habitat – Millipedes generally live in habitats with lots of vegetation and damp soil so they can safely burrow during the day, as they are more active at night. These habitats include area under leaf litter, stones, and sometimes underneath the surface of the soil. However, some millipedes are known to live in drier habitats, like deserts or up in the canopies of trees

Diet – Decaying plant material on the floor of vegetation rich habitats. They prefer plant matter high in calcium content that has been decaying for quite some time. They have been seen feeding on bird droppings. They can survive temporarily, if necessary, by feeding on their own feces.

Other – Males have a greatly enlarged first pair of legs and externally exposed gonopods.
Millipedes serve a very important role for the soil content in their habitats. When they break up the decaying leaf matter, they increase the surface area that the decaying matter covers, thus spreading out potential nutrients.


Millipede (Family Parajulidae) photos and information at:

iNaturalist
Project Noah
BugGuide.net
Katharine Ordway Natural History Study
Wikipedia
Google Images


Related Links on this site:

– All Millipede Posts
– Millipedes Centipedes Worms Index


 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Parajulid Millipede

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s