Thursday, October 4, 2012


Class Diplopoda

Millipedes have a long body and many legs. Millipedes have two pairs of legs per (diplo)segment, while centipedes have one pair per segment.

There are 33 species in Singapore1, 11 of which are found in urban landscape2.

The most commonly recognizable type is this red millipede - Trigoniulus corallinus. It has a cylindrical body and curls into a coil when threatened.

Trigoniulus corallinus at Admiralty Park ©Tan KH

In the forests, one may encounter a giant millipede.

Giant millipede at Central Catchment ©Tan KH

The other type that one might encounter are the plated millipedes (Order Polydesmida). Anoplodesmus saussurii, often confused with Harpaphe haydeniana3, is very common in newly developed lands. But it is an introduced species. Orthomorpha coarctata looks similar but seems to have sharper yellow edges. Another similar introduced species is Chondromorpha xanthotricha4, which is not glossy and has less yellow.

Anoplodesmus saussurii at Admiralty Park ©Tan KH

The other plated millipedes can be found in the forests. One such species is Platyrhacus lineatus, the type locality of which is in Singapore5.

Platyrhacus lineatus at Venus Drive ©Tan KH

Another species is Opisthodolichopus scandens6.

Opisthodolichopus scandens at Lower Peirce ©Eddy Lee

Opisthodolichopus scandens. Left: Lower Peirce. Right: Pair at Dairy Farm ©Eddy Lee

The third type one might find in Singapore is the pill millipede (Subclass Pentazonia). There are able to roll into a ball.


1. Annotated checklist of the millipedes (Diplopoda) and centipedes (Chilopoda) of Singapore
2. Management of urban millipedes in Singapore
4. First records of two introduced millipedes Anoplodesmus saussurii and Chondromorpha xanthotricha (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae) in Singapore

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