Millipedes

( Latin: Class Diplopoda)

Millipedes differ from centipedes in having a greater number of segments and in having two pairs of legs on each segment. In addition, they are peaceful vegetarians which are found, often in large numbers, in the soil, under stones and in similar dark, damp places.

There is no doubt that, like earthworms, they play a part in the breakdown of fallen leaves, and in mixing and aerating the soil.

Normally millipedes are not much noticed owing to their nocturnal habits but now and again they appear in large numbers, and sometimes stray into houses. One of the species frequently seen in- doors is Ommatoiulus sabulosus which reaches a length of 4-5 cm. It is dark and shiny with two yellowish longitudinal stripes down the back.

Millipedes cause no damage in houses or other buildings.