The Tanzanian Red Legged Millipede (Ephibolus pulchripes) is a large Diplopoda – arthropod with two pairs of jointed legs – from Tanzania and southern Kenya. Millipede means a thousand legs, but it does not have a thousand legs. It is a myriapod – a many-legged animal.
The Tanzanian Red Legged Millipede has a long black body, with hard plates, and bright red legs (up to 750). The male has a shiny body and the female has a dull body. Its head is red and round with a pair of large jaws. On its head are two antennae.
It grows to about (4-6 inches) long.
It is terrestrial, living on the ground, particularly in leaf litter. It can burrow a few centimetres into the ground.
It eats fruit, leaves, and plant material. It is a detritivore – eating detritus (decaying leaves). Lots of animals eat millipedes, such as birds, lizards, frogs, toads, mammals, and insects. They are scavengers.
The Tanzanian Red Legged Millipede is docile and slow-moving.
Females lay 10-300 eggs in damp soil, but not wet soil. The young hatch after a few weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM