Common Name: American Giant Millipede

Scientific Name: Narceus annularis

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Anthropoda

Class: Myriapoda

Order: Diploda

Family: Spirobolida

Genus: Narceus

Species: N. annularis

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Even though the Narceus Annularis millipede does not have 1000 legs, it is still a very interesting animal to learn about. This millipede, which can be found throughout the

US, is often confused with the Narceus Americanus, as many of the characteristics are very alike.

 

A person can easily distinguish this millipede by a couple key features. The Narceus Annularis can range from 8-10 centimeters tall, and it has red stripes over its black exoskeleton. It has eyes similar to a fly’s, and the antennae at the side of its head help it sense its surroundings. This millipede also has bilateral symmetry, 102 pairs of legs, and can breathe out of little holes called spiracles coming out of their sides.

 

You can only see this animal in certain places at specific times in a year. The Narceus Annularis can mostly be found under logs, but when the weather warms up in spring, they can be found in the forest litter or dead leaves. They can range from Southeastern US, north to Ohio, and west to Texas, but the conservation status of this animal is unknown.

 

The Narceus Annularis’s favorite food is wet mosses, but occasionally they eat small dead animals, such as birds or mice and decaying plant material. Like most millipedes, they use their powerful jaws to eat their food. On the other side, some of the animals that eat the Narceus Annularis are shrews, toads, badgers, and birds. To try to defend themselves, they will curl into a ball with their exoskeleton facing outwards.

All in all, this animal was very interesting to learn about. Because of their many traits, such as their hundreds of legs and their way of defending themselves, these animals are very well adapted to their environment. All in all, I think this animal is unique in its own ways.

Author: Mitchell M

Date Published: February 18, 2012

Sources:

Not-Quite-A-Thousand-Feet by Seabrooke Leckie

http://magickcanoe.com/millipede/narceus-millipede1.html

http://www.orkin.com/other/centipedes/what-eats-centipedes-and-millipedes

http://bugguide.net/node/view/15012

 

Picture Source

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustyblackbird/2794108280/