Myriapods | Myriapoda

Myriapods | Myriapoda

Description
Description

Myriapods, belonging to the phylum Myriapoda, encompass several multi-legged invertebrates, including centipedes, millipedes, and their relatives. These terrestrial arthropods are distinguished by their segmented bodies with numerous legs, varying from dozens to hundreds. They occupy diverse habitats, ranging from the forest floor to arid deserts, thriving in environments that offer moisture and decaying organic matter. Myriapods evolved over 400 million years ago, adapting to fill various ecological niches. Centipedes are primarily predatory, while millipedes generally consume decaying vegetation. As ancient creatures, they provide insights into the evolution of more complex arthropods and play essential roles in soil health and ecosystem functioning.

Anatomy
Anatomy

Myriapods are recognized by their elongated bodies composed of many segments, each typically bearing a pair of legs, resulting in a multitude of limbs that give these creatures their name. Centipedes, the carnivorous ones, have a flatter body and one pair of legs per segment, allowing for swift movement. Millipedes, in contrast, have a more rounded body with two pairs of legs per segment, adapted for burrowing and a slow-paced lifestyle. Neither group can speak, but they sense their environment through antennae sensitive to chemicals and vibrations. Myriapods breathe through tiny holes called spiracles and lack complex eyes, relying on their other senses to navigate their surroundings.

Human Interactions
Human Interactions

Throughout history, humans have had a varied relationship with myriapods. Centipedes and millipedes, although often overlooked, play crucial roles in ecosystems as decomposers and predators. In some cultures, centipedes are symbols of power and used in traditional medicine. Myriapods have also skittered into pop culture, appearing as eerie creatures in films and literature, often eliciting a shiver from audiences.

Conservation efforts for myriapods are not as prominent as for other animals, yet their decline can indicate environmental issues, prompting studies and protective measures in certain habitats. Understanding and preserving these many-legged invertebrates is vital for maintaining ecological balance.

Common Questions
Common Questions
How many legs do myriapods have?

Myriapods typically have more than 6 legs as well as one pair of antennae. The number of legs a myriapod has depends on its classification as millipedes can have between 36 to 400 legs. Other classifications like the Symphyla are born with 6 legs, but grow others throughout their lifetime.

What are the primary characteristics of myriapods?

The primary characteristics of myriapods include having a segmented and worm-shaped body that is not soft, but hard due to mineral salts in their environment. Myriapods also have a head with a pair of antennae, a long body divided into 2 regions, tracheal breathing, and embody terrestrial behavior.

When did Myriapods first appear?

Myriapods first appeared about 428 million years ago. This discovery was made through the fossil of the myriapod, the millipede, Pneumodesmus newmani. The Pneumodesmus newmani is also important as it is the earliest known terrestrial animal. The overall fossil record of myriapods extends back into the late Silurian period.

Animals

* Under Development *

.91”-1.14” | 23-29 mm
11”-11.8” | 28-30 cm
8-15 years
Amazonian Giant Centipede
2.900
30.000
15.00
15000
GUIDE
3D
Amazonian Giant Centipede
.35”-.51” | 9-13 mm
3.9”-5.1” | 10-13 cm
.07-.09 oz | 2-2.5 g
5-11 years
American Giant Millipede
1.300
13.000
0.003
11.00
2500
GUIDE
3D
American Giant Millipede
.2”-.43” | 5-11 mm
3.9”-5.9” | 10-15 cm
7-10 years
Desert Millipede
1.100
15.000
10.00
1150
GUIDE
3D
Desert Millipede
.6”-.75” | 15-19 mm
11”-13.4” | 28-34 cm
6.4-9.6 oz | 181-272 g
7-10 years
Giant African Millipede
1.900
34.000
0.272
10.00
4600
GUIDE
3D
Giant African Millipede
.28”-.55” | 7-14 mm
3”-6.3” | 7.5-16 cm
3-5 years
Giant Centipede
1.400
16.000
5.00
29040
GUIDE
3D
Giant Centipede
.47”-.63” | 12-16 mm
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
3-6 years
Giant Desert Centipede
1.600
20.000
6.00
7600
GUIDE
3D
Giant Desert Centipede
.08”-.1” | 2-2.5 mm
.7”-.9” | 1.8-2.3 cm
4-7 years
Greenhouse Millipede
0.250
2.300
7.00
5800
GUIDE
3D
Greenhouse Millipede
.14”-.26” | 3.5-6.5 mm
1”-1.5” | 2.5-3.8 cm
3-7 years
House Centipede
0.650
3.800
7.00
148000
GUIDE
3D
House Centipede
.16”-.35” | 4-9 mm
.3”-.8” | .8-2 cm
5-11 years
Pill Millipede
0.900
2.000
11.00
1700
GUIDE
3D
Pill Millipede
.28”-.47” | 7-12 mm
3.9”-7.1” | 10-18 cm
4-6 years
Tiger Centipede
1.200
18.000
6.00
2600
GUIDE
3D
Tiger Centipede
.59”-.75” | 15-19 mm
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
.09-.1 oz | 2.5-3 g
7-10 years
Vietnamese Centipede
1.900
20.000
0.003
10.00
8800
GUIDE
3D
Vietnamese Centipede
.24”-.39” | 6-10 mm
1.6”-2” | 4-5 cm
.03-.05 oz | .8-1.5 g
2-3 years
Yellow-Spotted Millipede
1.000
5.000
0.002
3.00
500
GUIDE
3D
Yellow-Spotted Millipede
Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Giant Desert Centipede compared to other myriapods

The Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros) is a North American centipede that occupies the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The species occupies rocky woodland areas, and it stays underground in warm weather, emerging in cloudy weather. With a number of color variations, the Giant Desert Centipede is aposematically colored to warn off potential predators. The castaneiceps variation in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas has a red head and greenish black body and tail. As a nocturnal predator, the Giant Desert Centipede uses its venom to hunt small invertebrates, including rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Giant Desert Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm) and width of .47”-.63” (12-16 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Desert Centipede is between 3-6 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Giant Desert Centipede
The Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros) is a North American centipede that occupies the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The species occupies rocky woodland areas, and it stays underground in warm weather, emerging in cloudy weather.

The Giant Desert Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm) and width of .47”-.63” (12-16 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Desert Centipede is between 3-6 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Giant Desert Centipede
Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
Height:
Width:
.47”-.63” | 12-16 mm
Length:
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Scolopendra heros
Lifespan
3-6 years

Drawings include:

Giant Desert Centipede top view (assorted)

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a American Giant Millipede to other myriapods

The American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) is a large millipede that inhabits the eastern seaboard of North America west to Georgetown, Texas, north of the Ottine wetlands. It inhabits forests and agricultural areas and can be found under rocks, rotting logs, leaf litter, and other decaying plant materials. As nocturnal creatures, the American Giant Millipede prefers dark and damp areas where it spends its time foraging, eating, and grooming. Its body is gray and nearly cylindrical, and when threatened, it will curl up or release a noxious liquid that can cause dermatological burns.

The American Giant Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), width of .35”-.51” (9-13 mm), and weight of .07-.09 oz (2-2.5 g). The typical lifespan of the American Giant Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Giant Millipede in various poses
The American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) is a large millipede that inhabits the eastern seaboard of North America west to Georgetown, Texas, north of the Ottine wetlands. It inhabits forests and agricultural areas and can be found under rocks, rotting logs, and leaf litter.

The American Giant Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), width of .35”-.51” (9-13 mm), and weight of .07-.09 oz (2-2.5 g). The typical lifespan of the American Giant Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Giant Millipede in various poses
American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus)
Height:
Width:
.35”-.51” | 9-13 mm
Length:
3.9”-5.1” | 10-13 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.07-.09 oz | 2-2.5 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Narceus americanus
Lifespan
5-11 years

Drawings include:

American Giant Millipede top view (assorted)

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Yellow-Spotted Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana)
Scale illustration of an average Yellow-Spotted Millipede compared to other myriapod species

The Yellow-Spotted Millipede (Harpache haydeniana) is a flat-backed millipede species found in the moist forests along the Pacific coast of North America, from Southeast Alaska to California. The upper surface of the body is black or olive green, and it is marked along the sides with yellowish patches. The Yellow-Spotted Millipede has about 20 body segments with a total of 30 or 31 pairs of legs. The species plays an important role in the forest ecosystem by breaking down leaf litter to free the nutrients for other organisms. Due to its aposematic coloration and the ability to secrete hydrogen cyanide, the species has few predators.

The Yellow-Spotted Millipede has an overall length between 1.6”-2” (4-5 cm), width of .24”-.39” (6-10 mm), and weight of .03-.05 oz (.8-1.5 g). The typical lifespan of the Yellow-Spotted Millipede is between 2-3 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Yellow-Spotted Millipede
The Yellow-Spotted Millipede (Harpache haydeniana) is a flat-backed millipede species found in the moist forests along the Pacific coast of North America, from Southeast Alaska to California. The upper surface of the body is black or olive green, and it is marked along the sides with yellow patches.

The Yellow-Spotted Millipede has an overall length between 1.6”-2” (4-5 cm), width of .24”-.39” (6-10 mm), and weight of .03-.05 oz (.8-1.5 g). The typical lifespan of the Yellow-Spotted Millipede is between 2-3 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Yellow-Spotted Millipede
Yellow-Spotted Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana)
Height:
Width:
.24”-.39” | 6-10 mm
Length:
1.6”-2” | 4-5 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.03-.05 oz | .8-1.5 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Harpaphe haydeniana
Lifespan
2-3 years

Drawings include:

Yellow-Spotted Millipede top view, side

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Giant Centipede to other myriapods

The Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes) is a centipede that is widely distributed in Australia with variations in size, coloration and patterning, and habitat. Shades of yellow and orange are the most common. Giant Centipedes in arid climates are often pale yellow, and those in rainforest habitats are dark green or blue. Habitat also influences body proportion; those in arid habitats are heavily built with proportionally short legs, and Giant Centipedes in rainforests have longer legs and a lighter build. The species lives in sheltered places like under logs, leaf litter and bark, and beneath rocks. As a voracious eater, the Giant Centipede consumes insects, snails, worms, and small vertebrates.

The Giant Centipede has an overall length between 3”-6.3” (7.5-16 cm) and width of .28”-.55” (7-14 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Centipede is between 3-5 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Giant Centipede in various poses
The Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes) is a centipede that is widely distributed in Australia with variations in size, coloration and patterning, and habitat. Shades of yellow and orange are the most common. Giant Centipedes in arid climates are often pale yellow.

The Giant Centipede has an overall length between 3”-6.3” (7.5-16 cm) and width of .28”-.55” (7-14 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Centipede is between 3-5 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Giant Centipede in various poses
Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)
Height:
Width:
.28”-.55” | 7-14 mm
Length:
3”-6.3” | 7.5-16 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Ethmostigmus rubripes
Lifespan
3-5 years

Drawings include:

Giant Centipede top view (assorted)

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Pill Millipede compared to other myriapods

The Pill Millipede (Oniscomorpha) is a millipede that closely resembles a certain woodlice called pillbugs or ”roly-polies”. Compared to most other millipedes, the Pill Millipede is short-bodied with only eleven to thirteen body segments. They can roll into a ball when disturbed, and exude a noxious liquid to repel predators; this can be both caustic and toxic to repel predators. Pill Millipedes are detritivores, as they mostly consume decomposing plant matter in the woodlands. Depending on the scientific order, the species’ distribution is varied.

The Pill Millipede has an overall length between .3”-.8” (.8-2 cm) and width of .16”-.35” (4-9 mm). The typical lifespan of the Pill Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Pill Millipede
The Pill Millipede (Oniscomorpha) is a millipede that closely resembles a certain woodlice called pillbugs or ”roly-polies”. Compared to most other millipedes, the Pill Millipede is short-bodied with only eleven to thirteen body segments. They can roll into a ball when disturbed.

The Pill Millipede has an overall length between .3”-.8” (.8-2 cm) and width of .16”-.35” (4-9 mm). The typical lifespan of the Pill Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Pill Millipede
Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata)
Height:
Width:
.16”-.35” | 4-9 mm
Length:
.3”-.8” | .8-2 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Glomeris marginata
Lifespan
5-11 years

Drawings include:

Pill Millipede top view, side

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads