Whereas not native to Missouri, the Bumble Bee Millipede (Anadenobolus monilicornis) is an attention-grabbing invertebrate I believed value sharing. I’ve a pal who lives in south Florida, she shipped me a number of of those, and one other species, to make use of within the insect and spider packages I do with kids on the Nature Heart the place I work.
Bumble Bee Millipedes, additionally known as Yellow-Banded Millipedes are native to the Caribbean and components of South America and made their means into South Florida through unique plant shipments. They’re nicely established in Florida, however trigger no actual points for the surroundings. Owners could discover them a little bit of a nuisance when massive numbers of them present up of their basements or different components of their property. Heavy rains and the moisture left behind will usually convey these millipedes out in massive numbers. As soon as inside your own home the millipede will not final lengthy as it is going to dry out rapidly from lack of correct moisture. It isn’t unusual to seek out them outdoors round foundations and in your gardens or alongside walkways, partitions and in your compost pile.
They’re detritivores and feed on decaying plant and animals matter. They’re estimated to devour as a lot as 10% of leaf litter in a given habitat, in addition to fallen fruit, seeds, mushrooms, feces, and lifeless invertebrates. They rummage round in leaf litter, below logs and different woodland micro-habitats searching for meals, as soon as consumed they flip it into nutrient wealthy pellets they expel. These fecal pellets are absorbed into the earth creating organically wealthy soil excellent for flora to thrive.
These little millipedes are simply acknowledged by their distinct darkish brown or black, and yellow banded coloring, crimson antennae and crimson legs. They might attain lengths as much as three inches. Like all millipedes they’ve two pairs of legs per physique section, which has earned millipedes the nick-name of “1,000-leggers.”
Figuring out whether or not or not you’ve got a male or feminine millipede in hand may not be as arduous as you suppose. Regardless that they give the impression of being alike, males have sexual organs positioned the place the seventh physique section legs needs to be. Should you rely 7 physique segments again from the pinnacle and the “legs” look shorter, or odd in someway in comparison with the opposite legs, likelihood is you’re holding a male. These exterior reproductive organs assist the male switch sperm on to the feminine as they face one another. They might stay locked collectively for lengthy durations of time. As soon as the feminine is mated, she’s going to create a small nest to deposit her eggs. She stays with the eggs to protect them from potential predators. As soon as hatched the newly born millipedes will seem much like their grownup counterparts, excluding leg rely. Millipedes are born with one pair of legs per physique section. Via molting and rising they’ll ultimately develop extra legs.
Younger millipedes are fed a weight-reduction plan of fecal pellets from their mom for a time frame earlier than they start foraging on their very own.
Millipedes have a number of defensive methods up their proverbial sleeves, of which there could be many, if they’d them. If harassed they’ll kind a decent coil that protects their delicate underside and legs. They might secrete a substance that tastes unhealthy to something that may wish to eat them. This substance will burn your eyes, so do not rub them after dealing with a millipede! They might additionally vomit the contents of their abdomen which may stain pores and skin and be very tough to clean off and stay with you for a number of days. Birds and monkeys have realized to make the most of the millipedes pure defenses to their benefit. They may seize a millipede and crush it, then rub the secretions throughout their fur or feathers. This affords them safety from biting bugs in a type of insect repellent.
These small, but colourful, millipedes make wonderful program animals. They don’t chunk, or sting. They transfer slowly and simply by their sheer nature should not intimidating or scary. They’re nice additions to a compost pile and assist break down the natural matter inside. To not point out they’re simply plain cool to have a look at, watching all these legs transferring in unison is mesmerizing.