Giant African Millipede
Scientific Name: Archispirostreptus gigas
Habitat: African millipedes can be found in the lowland forests and coastal regions of East Africa.
Diet: African millipedes are detritivores, meaning their diet consists of fresh or rotting fruits, vegetables and leaves. They are the “garbage men” of their habitats.
Size: 0.3 to 1 foot long
Weight: 0.4 to 0.5 pounds
Lifespan: 5 to 7 years in the wild. Up to 10 years in human care.
I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:
What does this mean?
Least Concern – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to be pervasive, abundant, and thriving.
Did You Know?!
- Of the thousands of millipede species, giant African milli-pedes are the largest.
- Although “milli-” is the root word for 1,000, millipedes usually only have a few hundred legs.
- Giant African millipedes have no eyes and instead use their antennae to “feel” their way around the world.
- Giant African millipedes breathe through tiny holes on their bodies called spiracles. They cannot close these holes and therefore must avoid pools of water.
- Unlike centipedes, giant African millipedes have weak jaws made for munching on decaying plant matter and cannot bite humans.
- If attacked by a predator, giant African millipedes will coil into a tight ball or secrete a foul-smelling, bitter fluid.
- Giant African millipedes can smell and taste with their body, including their legs.