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The Pill Millipede- An Eccentric Arthropod

27 January 2012 No Comment

Belize's Fascinating Pill Millipede

Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Pill Millipede and its scientific name is Glomeris marginata. The Pill Millipede is a very fascinating arthropod as it has twelve body segments which are dome-shaped. They are very secretive herbivores, making their home in soil and leaf litters.

This European species was found at The Lodge at Chaa Creek on their famous Creatures of the Night Walk. As seen in the above picture, the pill millipede can roll up into a ball when it senses a threat and in defense, it releases a chemical which makes them smell unpleasant to predators and because of this excellent defense behavior, it gained its name – the Pillbug.

The Pill Millipede is a nocturnal species, and are usually found in the forest areas, near gardens, and in warm and sunny areas. Adults have seventeen to nineteen pairs of legs and reach 0.8 inches in length, and 0.3 inches in width. A study in France showed that they eat about one of every ten leaves that falls to the forest floor each autumn and can live up to 11 years before dying.

This species is guaranteed to not go extinct for hundreds of years, but we must still do our part in protecting and conserving our environment and its inhabitants.

Submitted by Naturalist guide: David Juarez


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