|Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)|
DESCRIPTION: L=4" (10cm). Cylindrical body is overall brown or black (dead individuals may bleach white in the sun). They have two pairs of legs per body segment (number of body segments, thus legs, depends on how many times they have shed because they add new segments each time they shed).
NATURAL HISTORY: Desert Millipedes are slow-moving and feed on decaying organic material. They are nocturnal but may be seen in the morning following summer rains. They spend most of their time in burrows that they can dig themselves. When disturbed, the millipede may curl into a coil and even secrete a noxious substance (may irritate your skin and certainly your eyes) along the sides of its body. They can live for 10 or more years!