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Millipede, Sigmoria spp.

© 2009 Daniel W. Reed

This millipede probably feeds mostly on decaying organic matter in the leaf litter. One might wonder why a creature like this has the coloration that it does since it is unlikely that it is to attract a mate. The answer is that it is to warn potential predators. Some species of millipedes can release a cyanide containing substance. You may smell a bitter almond odor if you disturb one. In some species this secretion can travel some distance and can stain the skin and may cause blindness if it gets in ones eyes. Antidotally, I have heard of a teenage girl who held one (not this species) close to her face whereupon it sprayed onto here lip which produced a sore that took two years to heal.

Image Type/Subject:
Sigmoria Spp.,Millipede(Genus)
Media: Photograph

Shooting Location: Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, Wilson County, Tennessee
Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D Camera, Canon EF180mm F/3.5L Macro USM Lens 0.8 Sec. f/18.0 ISO=100 Cedars of
Lebanon State Forest, Wilson County, Tennessee

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© 2009 Daniel Reed