Common Name: Fire Millipedes
Scientific Name: Centrobolus annulatus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Diplopoda
Order: Spirobolida
Family: Pachybolidae
Genus: Centrobolus
Species: C. annulatus

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Centrobolus annulatus is a fun-loving, mischievous arthropod that can be a minor nuisance when it comes to gardens. They are found in Mozambique, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and Umhlanga, Africa.
    

Centrobolus annulatus has unique characteristics that make it special. For example, they are 10 cm long with 80-400 legs. They get their name, (Red fire millipede) from the red/orange color of their body. Like all other millipedes, they are divided into segments, which have 2 legs. Also, they have a pair of antennae and jaws called mandibles.
    

This millipede can be found in damp, organic places such as leaves, mulch, and wood chips. In the fall they move into houses and leave in the summer. Their population is unknown, although there could be thousands of them.
    

Centrobolus annulatus’ diet consists of plant matter like wood, tender green leaves, and roots. Rarely do they eat smaller, weaker insects. Their predators are birds, badgers, foxes, shrews, and rats. Due to their lack of speed and inability to bite or sting, curling themselves into a ball is their defense mechanism.
    

Just like other millipedes, Centrobolus Annulatus is important because they recycle organic material and enrich soil. Even though they are minor pests, Centrobolus annulatus is a helpful, important bug.

 

 

Author: Alex H

published: 02/2012

Sources:
1) http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/c/Centrobolus_elegans/
2) http://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description
3) http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05552.html
4) http://a-z-animals.com/animals/millipede/
5) Minch,W. Edwin “Millipede Passage.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1998 ed.