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You Have To See This World Record Millipede

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World Record Millipede

 

The leggiest creature in the World can be found in California, but it’s not a runway model or a movie starlet.

The world’s leggiest creature happens to be a millipede, which sets a world record with its 750 legs.

 

Photograph by Paul Marek

The Elusive White Millipede (lllacme plenipes)

The word millipede literally translates to 1000 feet, but no millipede really has 1000 feet. The closest to reach the 1000 foot mark happens to be the lllacme plenipes millipede; which sets a world record with its 750 limbs. Most other species of millipede have between 80 and 100 legs. It’s name, lllacme plenipes, means “the acme of plentiful legs”

The lllacme plenipes millipede was first discovered in 1928 by scientists. It was thought to be extinct for much of the last century until Paul Marek, a University of Arizona entomologist, recently caught one in Silicon Valley, CA that happened to be a world record.

The elusive millipedes have only ever been found in a patch of grassy oak woodlands spanning about 1.7 square miles near Oakland and Berkeley, California. They measure a mere 3 centimeters in length, and look like a white piece of thread.

 

Photograph by Paul Marek

More Than Just a Great Set of Legs

The female lllacme plenipes millipedes have up to 750 legs, and males have more than 550. Besides it’s many legs, there are several other things that make this millipede unique. They include:

  • Very rare- Only 17 ever caught
  • A fused mouth has no known function
  • Hairs on it’s back produce silk
  • Sexually dimorphic
  • Legs have claws for burrowing deep underground
  • Needs moist fog to survive in the wild
  • Cannot be cultured laboratories, needing an unknown food source not avaliable in labs

Threatened Insect

The lllacme plenipes millipede is one of the many threatened insects in the world. Scientists say the millipede’s existence is being threatened as human development infringes on the small region in Northern California where the millipede is found. Climate change is also playing a large factor in the extinction of the millipede, vaporizing the fog that keeps it’s habitat moist.

It would be a shame for this rare and peculiar species to disappear completely before we can learn more about it.

 

Photograph by Paul Marek

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Anthony Ball is a Content Marketing Manager with Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in nine states, including thirteen major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common pests like ants, roaches, crickets and spiders; the company’s differentiating aspect is great personalized service. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.

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