• Biodiversity Giant African Millipede
  • Giant African Millipede

    Archispirostreptus gigas

    The Largest Millipede

    The Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) has been called the largest of the millipedes. It grows up to 11 inches in length. In Africa, where it is found, it lives in rotting plant material and generally avoids light.

    In the exotic pet trade, the Giant African Millipede is a popular pet.

    Interesting Facts

    • One of the defense methods of the giant millipede is to squirt a liquid (hydrochloric acid). This defense is rarely used and is generally not harmful to humans. However, one of the Untamed Science crew (Hazen), upon looking closely at a millipede, was squirted in the eye, causing it to dilate for several hours.
    • Baby millipedes eat the dung of their parents for food. This means they are coprophagous.

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    Written by Rob Nelson

    Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is also an award-winning filmmaker. As principle director of Untamed Science productions his goal is to create videos and content that are both entertaining and educational. When he's not making science content, he races slalom kayaks and skydives.

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