White-Legged Snake Millipede

The White-Legged Snake Millipede (Tachypodolulus niger) is a diplopod in the Julidae family of millipedes. It is also called the Black Millipede. It is not an insect because it does not have 6 legs. It is a diplopod, which means double legs.  

The White-Legged Snake Millipede has a long, cylindrical, segmented, shiny, black body with a hard exo-skeleton. It has around 100 pairs of white legs. It has 41-56 body segments with two pairs of legs on most segments. It has a short head with a number of simple eyes called ocelli – and poor eyesight. It has short antennae.

White-Legged Snake Millipede

It grows up to 15 centimetres (6 inches) long. 

It is found in Europe from Ireland to the Czech Repbulic. It prefers to live in leaf litter, under bark, or in mossy areas.

The White-Legged Snake Millipede feeds on algae, detritus (decaying matter) and sometimes fruit.

It is diurnal, but it is most active in the afternoon. It moves in a wave-like motion, with each pair of legs lifted at the same time. As a defence mechanism, it coils itself into a spiral with its legs on the inside and its head in the centre.

The female lays about 100 eggs in loose soil.

Location of photograph: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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