Common name:  Puerto Rican Tree Millipede

Scientific name:  Anadenobolus arboreus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class:  Diplopoda

Order: Spirobolida

Family: Rhinocricidae

Genus: Anadenobolus

Species: A. arboreus

 

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Millipedes are some of the most disgusting insects on the planet, but they are also very interesting.  The millipede that I have learned about is called Anadenobolus arboreus, or its common name is the Puerto Rican tree millipede.  This millipede looks like the average millipede that is brownish-black with many legs, but the other insects in its genus can have different colors.  It has an exoskeleton like all arthropods and has two pair of legs on each segment of its’ body.  The Anadenobolus arboreus lives in the tropics of Puerto Rico.  It has a round body with many segments.  This report will provide you with some information about this particular insect.

 

The Puerto Rican millipede has a very unique appearance.  It can be approximately six inches long.  The Anadenobolus arboreus is a brownish-black colored millipede.  One adaptation it has is the brown color that can blend into trees. The word millipede means ‘one thousand legs’ but millipedes normally tend to have from 36 to 400 legs.  The amount of legs is unknown for the Puerto Rican tree millipede.

           

This millipede lives in an environment that is perfect for its appearance.  The brownish black color can help it blend into trees.  This coloring allows the millipede blend in with the surroundings so it may not be so easy for another hunter to see it, and then eat it.  The millipede can be found in the tropics in Puerto Rico.  Scientists have studied these millipedes, but the population of this millipede is still unknown.  The conservation status of Anadenobolus arboreus is also unknown. 

           

The food that this millipede eats is also sickening.  They are herbivores that eat off of decaying plant material and waste.  They normally eat at night, to avoid predators.  As part of the food web, this insect eats plants and other decaying material, and then the millipede becomes food for another animal, such as a bird, shrew, or badger.  So the millipede plays an important role as a part of the food web. When Anadenobolus arboreus runs into a predator, it defends itself by rolling into a hard-shelled ball, like a roly-poly.  They do this to protect themselves with their armor like shell.

           

This insect is very important and interesting.  It plays a role in the food chain for other animals, and is part of the circle of life in the environment where Anadenobolus arboreus lives.  The one thing that stood out about the Puerto Rican tree millipede is the size of the insect.  The Anadenobolus arboreus can grow to 6 inches in length.  That is very large for a millipede.  It has an easy diet and would be easy to care for.  If you think about it, Anadenobolus arboreus, the Puerto Rican tree millipede, would make a very good pet.

 

 

Author: Jonah A 

Published: 02/2012

 

Sources:

www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/invertebrates/arthropod/Millipede.shtml

www.kingsnake.com/westindian/metazoa4.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millipede

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/spirobolida