Did You Know? 15 Incredible Red Millipede Facts

Amazing red millipede facts you must check out.

Millipedes (Eurymerodesmus spp) are arthropods of the class Diplopoda. Their population has been distributed across the world and they usually group with several other classes as myriapods. The characteristic feature of the group is the appearance of diplosomites, double trunk segments formed from the merging of two segments. As adults, these insects can grow as many as 200 legs, except for the first head segments, which are legless, and the next three sections, where each contains one pair of legs. In addition, each diplosomite except for the first four includes two pairs of internal organs. The head contains aerials, simple eyes, and only a single maxilla.

Nearly 10,000 species feed on dying plant matter, which consists of some damaged living plants, while some are predators and hunters. These insects are native to Europe and have also been introduced to North America. Some millipedes usually lack eyes. Millipedes move gently through soil and organic matter, cutting down dead plant bodies and restoring the soil, much like worms and often act as pests at homes. A great number of them reside among dry leaves of trees. When they become overly plentiful, they sometimes destroy seedlings in greenhouses. These insects' bodies look similar to centipede due to their segments structure.

For more relatable content, check out these wolf spider facts and jumping spider facts for kids.

Red Millipede

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fruit, vegetables, moistened fish food, woods, plants, insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 100 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.3-0.4 oz (8-10 g)

How long are they?

4 in (10 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, yellow, red, black, orange

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Loss of habitat and birds

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Mulch, piles of dead leaves, grass clippings, dog houses, storage sheds


Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, North America, South America





Scientific Name

Eurymerodesmus spp.





Red Millipede Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red millipede?

A red millipede is a type of invertebrate animal, and they are great predators.

What class of animal does a red millipede belong to?

Millipedes belong to the Diplopoda class of animals, from the phylum Arthropod.

How many red millipedes are there in the world?

There are 7,000 millipede species available in the world, and 1,400 of these happen to be in the USA and Canada. However, their total population across the world is unknown.

Where does a red millipede live?

Millipedes love moist areas because they require fog to live. Therefore, they are often found crawling around damp walls, cellars, and sliding glass doors and windows inside your home at all. Millipedes favor the outdoors, producing their homes under mulch, humus, stones, and leaf piles. Those residing at homes act as poisonous pests.

What is a red millipede's habitat?

It depends on how many diverse species are there, millipedes are found on approximately every continent. They prefer to burrow in their genetic habitat, which often consists of warm and moist soil. Their environment must be close, even if they are kept as a pet in an unnatural habitat. They are found across Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.

Who do red millipedes live with?

Whether millipedes live alone or in groups is unknown.

How long does a red millipede live?

Millipedes are long-life critters when they keep their preferred outdoor habitats. There are many species of millipedes with diverse lifespans. Generally, they can live up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding season occurs during the fall season, during June to October. Millipede males first produce a web on which they put their sperm. The female then requests the interconnection and puts the sperm into her procreative organs. In some pill millipedes, a male brings a female to mate with squealing noises made by covering the bases of his legs against his body. He then grasps the female's body with his legs. A sperm package is released behind his head and moved back from one pair of legs to the next until it transfers to the procreative organs of the females. In other millipedes, the male covers the sperm packet in the dirt before passing it back with his legs to his mate's procreative organs.

Millipedes put their eggs in the soil. Some millipede species make unique cases for their eggs out of chewed-up leaves. In some species, the female, and occasionally the male, watch the eggs until they produce. Although growing millipedes follow small adults, they usually have no legs when they first produce from the egg. After millipedes lose their exoskeleton for the first time, they have six body segments & three pairs of legs. They join additional segments and two legs with each molt until they reach the most adult number. Millipedes molt in safe places underground or in cracks in the soil. Millipedes arrive into adulthood in one or two years, sometimes longer. Adult millipede can live for one to 11 years.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of red millipedes is of Least Concern in IUCN Red List.

Red Millipede Fun Facts

What do red millipedes look like?

Millipedes look quite different from their centipede relatives, which have one set of legs per segment that hold out to the body's sides. A millipede is habitually brown or black, and they have a robust exoskeleton to defend them. Millipedes have tiny antennae, two pairs of legs in each body segment, and a flat head. If these all are poisonous, the arthropod will have brilliant colors along its sides as a way to notify others. As they mature, they grow up to 2 in (5 cm) long while adding more body segments. They weigh around 0.3-0.4 oz (8-10 g) with an overall length of around 4 in (10 cm).

Red millipedes have red overall coloration with segmented bodies similar to centipedes.

How cute are they?

They are simply furry, tiny, and cutest animals.

How do they communicate?

Millipedes sense and understand their environment through the wires and can feel the chemical secretions that affect animal behavior, fragrances, food taste, find water. The eyes catch movement and light, and some classes of millipedes even have organs on the head that are sensible.

How big is a red millipede?

Millipedes, which are similar to centipedes have an overall length of 4 in (10 cm), which is 10 times bigger than a ground spider and nearly four times bigger than house centipedes.

How fast can a red millipede move?

Millipedes are not fast-moving animals, and they cannot exceed their predators. Rather, when a millipede feels it is at risk, it will twist its body into a steady spiral, protecting its stomach.

How much does a red millipede weigh?

The red millipede generally weighs around 0.3-0.4 oz (8-10 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names to describe the male and female of this animal.

What would you call a baby red millipede?

The young of these animals are simply known as nymphs.

What do they eat?

This animal is an omnivore, which indicates that it eats dead organic matter in the ground like damp wood parts, decayed leaves, and other materials that usually exist in their moist habitat underground. However, these possible hunters won’t allow themselves to go greedy. If the land becomes overly dry or they are unable to utilize the trash that they usually feed on, they’ll go after living plant life to fill their hunger. They highly prefer feeding on wood decays.

Are they poisonous?

Millipedes are not toxic, and those are predominantly examined to be non-poisonous. However, some millipede classes generate vexatious liquids from organs located on the side of their body. These liquids can cause comparatively minor annoyance if it comes into connection with the skin of someone who is sensitive to these fluids and has unknowingly damaged one or more millipedes. They also act as dangerous pests as they can cause rash and harm plants and wood since they act as natural food to them. However, the cherry millipede are poisonous as they can release hydrogen cyanide that smells like cherries or almonds when disturbed by predators.

Would they make a good pet?

It is uncommon to keep millipedes as pets as they somewhat act as pests to humans, not because they are poisonous but because they may cause harm to surrounding areas and cause skin rashes. In fact, many people call pest controls to avoid the presence of millipedes.

Did you know...

Millipedes are nature's tiny recyclers. They are detritivores, meaning they feed on dead animals and plants. They generally recycle nutrients back into the soil at a faster rate than animals and plants, when decomposing naturally, as they snack on them.

Millipedes are active at night to hunt for dry leaves and decay wood.

Millipedes hate the smell of peppermint and tea tree oil.

Pest sprays, essential oils, boric acid, traps, and other such insecticides are used to get rid of red millipedes. Keeping gutters and yards clean also helps in avoiding them.

Do millipedes curl up when they die?

Due to their loss of speed and their incapability to bite or injury, they curl up as a tight coil, to protect their delicate legs inside. This position acts as a primary defense mechanism to them from predators and when they sense danger in general.

Do red millipedes bite?

Millipedes do not bite or cut and are not harmful to people or pets. They do have the capability to pass a poisonous liquid through places along the sides of their body. This fluid can cause difficulties for small pets and can make the skin on people become blistered or troubled. The fluid can also leave behind a nasty smell that requires to be wiped away.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these spotted orb-weaver spider facts and flower crab spider facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable red millipede coloring pages.



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