Diplopoda – Millipedes
Silently carries out a vital role as nature’s recyclers
Millipedes are recognized by their long, cylindrical bodies, segmented into numerous sections. As their name suggests, they do not have a thousand legs, but the number varies among species and can range from a few dozen to over four hundred legs. They are also detritivores, primarily feeding on decaying plant material and organic debris. They play a crucial role in decomposition, breaking down dead leaves and other plant matter, and contributing to ecosystem nutrient cycling.
Many millipede species have developed chemical defense mechanisms to deter predators. They can produce toxic or repellent substances, often containing compounds that may irritate potential threats. They are also not known for their speed; instead, they move slowly across the forest floor using their numerous legs. Their unhurried pace reflects their role as decomposers, allowing them to process decaying organic matter efficiently.