Narceus Americanus Millipede

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The Narceus Americanus Millipede of the BC coastal region

Narceus Americanus Millipede
Narceus Americanus Millipedes, Photo By Robert Logan

These millipedes are cylindrical millipedes that can reach up to 10 cm long, being long and round make easy to recognize. They are a dark reddish-brown to black with a red line on the edge on each segment. They have two pairs of legs on most segments, the first four segments (thoracic) have a single pair of legs,  all of the following abdominal segments have two. The millipedes also have two short antennae.

Their diet consists of decaying plant matter and the fungi it contains, but occasionally they will eat decaying animal matter as well.

Narceus Americanus Millipede
Narceus Americanus Millipedes, Photo By Robert Logan

These millipedes are often found on or in decaying logs or in leaf litter. Despite their great number of legs, they are not fast crawlers.

These millipedes overwinter in rotting logs or in soil. In the spring, they emerge and mate. The females form nests using regurgitated food, and then lay a single egg into it. They will brood the egg by wrapping themselves around it. In several weeks it will hatch as a nymph, they will have only three pairs of legs, but more grow with each molt. They can take up to 2 years to reach adulthood, and some can live up to 11 years.

These are pretty awesome to see in the wild.

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