Florida Ivory Millipede, anamorphic development

Chicobolus spinigerus

Florida Ivory Millipede(or Ivory Millipede) is a millipede species native to the southeastern United States, occurring throughout the Florida Peninsula and panhandle, as well as southern Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Ivory Millipede

Museum of Science, Boston

It is often assumed that millipedes have 1,000 legs. However, this is not true! In fact, many species have 100 legs or less. The trait that separates them from centipedes is the number of legs per segment; millipedes have two sets, whereas centipedes have one. Millipedes start their lives with six segments and three pairs of legs and then continue to develop more segments and legs with each molt. This is called anamorphic development.

Millipedes are decomposers, feeding on decaying plant and animal material. In captivity, they feed on fruits and veggies. They are quite harmless and just curl into a tight ball when feeling threatened. In some cases, they can excrete an irritating chemical to ward off their predators.