Common Name: Pill Millipede

Scientific Name: Procyliosoma Tuberculatum

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Diplopoda

Order: Sphaerotheriida

Family: Sphaerotheriidae

Genus: Procyliosoma

Species: P. Tuberculatum

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Even though it may seem small, pill millipedes actually have many interesting talents.  They are called pill millipedes because their size is relatively similar to a pill.  It is not medicine in any way.

 

The color of a pill millipede ranges from gray to brown to black.  During molting, they are sometimes multi-toned because the back half molts before the first.  They molt about 4-5 times during their lives.  They have a hard exoskeleton made of chitin and are usually about one inch long.

 

Pill millipedes are found in New Zealand.  The population of this millipede is unknown.  There are no efforts to conserve this millipede, because there are many of them around.

 

The diet of the pill millipede contains decaying plants and animals.  They cannot harm common household plants, however, because they are thicker and too tough for them to chew.  Predators of the pill millipede are frogs, newts, toads, spiders, and small mammals.  To protect itself from these predators, it rolls up into a tiny ball so that the hard, protective exoskeleton covers its entire body.  This process is called conglobation.

 

Procyliosoma tuberculatum may not look like much, but it has many talents and skills.  Even though it has “pill” in the name does not mean it is used as medicine.  It has “pill” in its name because of its size.  Cleary, Procyliosoma Tuberculatum is a very interesting animal.

 

Author: Justin O.

Date published:

 

Sources:

http://www.neatorama.com/neatobambino/2010/07/01/holy-moly-roly-poly/

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Procyliosoma_tuberculatum

Evans, Arthur V.  Field Guide to Insects and Spiders and Related Species of North America.  New York, NY.  Sterling Publishing Co. NY, London.  2008.  pgs.  421-422

Beatty, Richard, Anderson, Robert, Dr.  Insects and Spiders of the World.  Tarrytown, NY.  Marshall Cavendish.  2003.  pgs.  350-351

 

Photo credit: http://soilbugs.massey.ac.nz/gallery/millipedes.html