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Introduction:

 

So, what's a Millipede? What's the difference between a Millipede and a Centipede? How many legs do they have? All these questions will be answered on this page. I will do a care sheet separately for this. 

 

Millipedes and Centipedes are both grouped together in the same Subphuylm( I will discuss what this means on another topic), which is Myriapoda. Just to give you a rough idea of what a Subphylum is, it is one of the Zoology nomenclature( a fancy name for naming things in Zoology). There are different terms used in Zoology to put our animals and insects into groups, these are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Subphylum isn't classed as a common nomenclature, however, as a category just below Phylum. 

Anyway, don't worry about that at the moment. Let's focus on Myriapods themselves. All we need to know is both Centipedes and Millipeds are class as Myriapods. 

What makes Centipedes and Millipedes Myriapods? What's the difference between Centipedes and Millipedes? 

The term Myriapods means 'many legs'. Many people think Centipedes had 1000 legs and that Millipedes had around 1 million. This, however, is a myth. Scientists have calculated, depending on the species, they can have anything between 40 and 400 legs. 

Myriapod's(Millipedes and Centipedes) body structure is completely different from insects. Unlike insects, they only have two main body components. These are; the head and the Trunk, which is the rest of the body. Of course, we have the legs as well. However, Millipedes and Centipedes have different numbers of legs on each segment. For example, Millipedes have two pairs of legs on each segment of the body, whereas Centipedes have one pair of legs. 

 

Other differences between the two are that millipedes tend to have a much tougher exoskeleton than Centipedes. Millipedes are mostly herbivorous, whereas Centipedes are insectivores and kill live insects with their venom. Millipedes are toxic, but they secrete their toxins, rather than inject them, and they are mostly to avoid or escape prey not to hunt. 

 

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Trunk

Head Capsule

Antenna

Many legs

African Olive Millipede

Gender Detection Millipedes and Centipedes.

Generally, both Millipedes and Centipedes are Sexual Dimorphic, meaning there is a noticeable difference that can help detect gender. Gender detection can be very tricky in Myriapods. 

Male Millipedes have up to 4 genitalia, otherwise known as Gonopods. These are located on the underside of the Millipede where its many legs are. The Gonopods are located where sets of legs are missing and can be in the form of stumps or small lumps. 

Detecting gender in Centipedes is much more difficult. At the end segments of the trunk, you will find it to be thicker, whereas the female will have a thinner end. 

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Armoured Millipede

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Giant African Millipede. All my Millipedes are kept in a universal tank with a variety of beetles species. They live peacefully with everything in the enclosure because they are not predatory invertebrates. I would strongly advise not keeping Centipedes together with other insects as they are insectivores and inject venom into their prey. 

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