Class Diplopoda Millipedes

Millipedes have a somewhat cylindrical body with 11 to 90 segments (which are really fused "diplosegments") and two pairs of legs per segment. Segmental plates are constructed to prevent "telescoping" as the body bulldozes through forest litter, while still allowing the animal to roll up or coil when threatened (Fig. 4B). Millipedes are slow moving and herbivorous by nature, eating decaying leaves and wood. They lack poisonous fangs and instead repel predators with volatile poison produced by repugnatorial glands. Millipedes are relatively long-lived, with some surviving 7 years.

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