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millipede

millipede (mĬl´əpēd´), elongated arthropod having many body segments and pairs of legs. Millipedes, sometimes termed thousand-legged worms, have two pairs of legs on each body segment except the first few and the last. Females in one Californian species, Illacme plenipes, typically have more 650 legs, but are only 1.3 in. (33 mm) long; the leggiest ever found (1926) had 750. The millipede body is nearly circular in cross section. Most temperate region millipedes are rather small and dull in appearance, but a few tropical species are brightly colored, and some reach 1 ft (30 cm) in length.

Millipedes do not have a poisonous bite, but many protect themselves by offensive odors produced by stink glands; some produce highly irritating compounds that can injure the skin or eyes of attackers; and some can roll up into a ball or spiral for protection. They are widely distributed in temperate and warmer regions, living in surface litter, under stones or logs, and in relatively humid surroundings. They feed mostly on decaying vegetation, although some will consume decaying animal food. Some species attack plant roots and cause crop damage.

Centipedes, with which millipedes are often confused, are carnivorous, have a single pair of legs on each segment, and a body that is flat in cross section. Millipedes belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Diplopoda.

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Diplopoda

Diplopoda(millipedes; phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Atelocerata) A class of arthropods in which the body is segmented, each segment of the trunk being formed from two fused somites. Each resulting diplosegment thus bears two pairs of legs. Millipedes do not move rapidly but are able to force their way through soil and similar loose material, and many are able to climb smooth surfaces. Many roll into a ball when threatened. Most millipedes are herbivorous, although some ingest soil from which they digest organic matter and a few species are carnivorous. More than 7500 species have been described. They occur in all continents but are most common in the tropics.

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Diplopoda

Diplopoda A class of wormlike terrestrial arthropods belonging to the phylum Uniramia and comprising the millipedes. Diplopods are characterized by a distinct head, bearing a single pair of short antennae, and 20 to over 60 body segments each bearing two pairs of legs. Restricted to damp habitats, millipedes are slow moving and feed on decaying leaves. See also Myriapoda.

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millipede

millipede Any of numerous species of elongated, invertebrate, arthropod animals with large numbers of legs. Found throughout the world, it has a segmented body, one pair of antennae, two pairs of legs per segment and can be orange, brown or black. All species avoid light and feed on plant tissues. Length: 2–280mm (0.2–11in). Class Diplopoda.

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millipede

mil·li·pede / ˈmiləˌpēd/ (also millepede) • n. a myriapod invertebrate (class Diplopoda) with an elongated body composed of many segments, most of which bear two pairs of legs.

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millipedes

millipedes See Diplopoda.

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millipedes

millipedes See DIPLOPODA.

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millipede

millipedeaccede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed •breastfeed • greenfeed • dripfeed •chickenfeed • spoonfeed • nosebleed •Nibelungenlied • invalid • Ganymede •Runnymede • airspeed • millipede •velocipede • centipede • Siegfried •filigreed • copyread • crossbreed •proofread • flaxseed • hayseed •rapeseed • linseed • pumpkinseed •aniseed • oilseed • birdseed • ragweed •knapweed • seaweed • chickweed •stinkweed • blanket weed • bindweed •pondweed • duckweed • tumbleweed •fireweed • waterweed • silverweed

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Millipedes

Millipedes

Millipedes are long, cylindrical, segmented, many-legged terrestrial arthropods in the class Diplopoda, in total comprising about 10,000 species.

The common name of these animals is derived from the Latin word for thousand legs, although most species actually have fewer than 200 legs, and some as few as about 60.

Millipedes have an elongate, almost cylindrical body form, with two short legs on each segment, except for the first three, anterior (head), segments, which do not have legs. Most species of millipedes have small, compound eyes, consisting of bundles of optical units known as simple eyes, or ocelli. Millipedes have a pair of large chewing mandibles at the head end, which they use to break up their foodusually decaying vegetation or the flesh of dead animals.

Millipedes are slow-moving, deliberate animals which usually live in damp and dark places, often under some sort of cover. Some species of millipedes feed on living plants, and when these animals are abundant they can cause significant damage. For example, Oxidus gracilus, a common millipede found in greenhouses, is sometimes considered to be a pest. A few species of millipedes are predators of other invertebrates.

When millipedes are disturbed, some species curl up into a tight spiral, with their head in the center. Some species also exude a foul, dark fluid from pores in the sides of their body when they are disturbed. This excretion can kill some types of insects when they are closely confined with these millipedes.

Millipedes have internal fertilization, with the male using specialized, modified legs on its seventh body segment to pass sperm to the female. Openings of the reproductive tracts of both sexes are located at the front of the body, between the second and third pairs of legs. Millipedes lay clutches of small, whitish eggs in damp places. The newly hatched millipedes have only three pairs of legs, with the other parts being added as the animals grow and molt.

The largest species of millipede in North America is Narceus americanus, a dark brown animal with narrow, red, transverse rings on its body, occurs in moist coniferous forests of the west coast. This beautiful millipede can reach an impressive body length of 4 inches (10 cm), while species of millipedes in the tropics can reach the length of a foot (30 cm).

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Millipedes

Millipedes

Millipedes are long, cylindrical, segmented, many-legged terrestrial arthropods in the class Diplopoda, in total comprising about 10,000 species . The common name of these animals is derived from the Latin word for "thousand legs," although most species actually have fewer than 200 legs, and some as few as about 60.

Millipedes have an elongate, almost cylindrical body form, with two short legs on each segment, except for the first three, anterior (head), segments, which do not have legs. Most species of millipedes have small, compound eyes, consisting of bundles of optical units known as simple eyes, or ocelli. Millipedes have a pair of large chewing mandibles at the head end, which they use to break up their food—usually decaying vegetation or the flesh of dead animals.

Millipedes are slow-moving, deliberate animals which usually live in damp and dark places, often under some sort of cover. Some species of millipedes feed on living plants, and when these animals are abundant they can cause significant damage. For example, Oxidus gracilus, a common millipede found in greenhouses, is sometimes considered to be a pest. A few species of millipedes are predators of other invertebrates .

When millipedes are disturbed, some species curl up into a tight spiral, with their head in the center. Some species also exude a foul, dark fluid from pores in the sides of their body when they are disturbed. This excretion can kill some types of insects when they are closely confined with these millipedes.

Millipedes have internal fertilization , with the male using specialized, modified legs on its seventh body segment to pass sperm to the female. Openings of the reproductive tracts of both sexes are located at the front of the body, between the second and third pairs of legs. Millipedes lay clutches of small, whitish eggs in damp places. The newly hatched millipedes have only three pairs of legs, with the other parts being added as the animals grow and molt.

The largest species of millipede in North America is Narceus americanus, a dark-brown animal with narrow, red, transverse rings on its body, occurs in moist coniferous forests of the west coast. This beautiful millipede can reach an impressive body length of 4 in (10 cm), while species of millipedes in the tropics can reach the length of a foot (30 cm).

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