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Millipedes: Diplopoda

Millipedes And People

Millipedes are an important, yet seldom appreciated, group of animals that break down dead plants and recycle them into food for other organisms. It has been estimated that they add two tons of manure per acre (0.40 hectares) of forest floor each year.

Sometimes millipedes damage gardens and crops by eating shoots and roots. In Japan thousands of Parafontaria laminata crushed by trains have resulted in the tracks becoming slick, causing railroad cars to lose traction.

Some people have strong allergic reactions to the defensive chemicals of millipedes. The defensive fluids of Spirobolus will stain and irritate human skin, whether or not the person is allergic to the chemicals.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersMillipedes: Diplopoda - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Millipedes And People, Pill Millipede (glomeris Marginata): Species Accounts - DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS