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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Millipedes

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 Singapore[1].

The most commonly recognisable 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

The other type that one might encounter are the plated millipedes (Order Polydesmida). Anoplodesmus saussurii, often confused with Harpaphe haydeniana[2], is very common in newly developed lands. But it is an introduced species. Another introduced species is Chondromorpha xanthotricha[3], which looks like Anoplodesmus saussurii, but 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 Opisthodolichopus scandens[4].


An unknown plated millipede at Venus Drive ©Tan KH


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.

References
[1] http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/nus/pdf/PUBLICATION/LKCNH%20Museum%20Books/LKCNHM%20Books/myriapods_checklist_singapore.pdf
[2] http://www.flickr.com/groups/myriapoda/discuss/72157631308138718/
[3] http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/nis/bulletin2012/2012nis141-149.pdf
[4] http://www.polydesmida.info/polydesmida/index.html

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