Cyanide Millipedes (Harpaphe haydeniana)

I interrupted a couple of millipedes ‘snuggling’ in the woods today. We see a lot of these millipedes as they are fond of eating forest plants and detritus. They get their first name because of the cyanide they produce when disturbed.  Cyanide supposedly smells like almonds and these millipedes are sometimes called almond-scented millipedes. I still haven’t built up the courage to pick one up in my hands to investigate. Their second name comes from their numerous legs but they have nothing close to the 1000 legs that their name implies, closer to 400 maximum. A nice looking creature.

Cyanide Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana)_watermarked


3 comments

    • They always remind me of the first horror movie I ever saw called The Tingler with Vincent Price. He was a pathologist who theorized that fear was a living creature that lived inside us and, lo and behold, it turned out to be something that very much looked like a giant millipede!


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