The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red and Black Millipede

Afrikaans name:

Red and Black Millipede

Red and Black Millipede

Photo © Steven Herbert

Centrolobus annulatus

The Red and Black Millipede is sometimes called the Red Fire Millipede in the 'pet' trade, although this name is sometimes applied to other members of the genus. They grow to a length of around 10 cm.

Millipedes, unlike the similar looking centipedes, are vegetarians. They feed on things such as decomposing vegetable matter and fruit as well as bulbs and tubers. Sometimes millipedes can cause a lot of damage to crops and they are not always welcomed by farmers.

Millipedes can apparently be sexed by turning them upside down and looking for a segment with missing legs near the front of the creature. If you can see that then it's a male. I have yet to find a millipede that will co-operate while you try and turn it upside down!

Millipedes mating

A pair mating

Photo © Steven Herbert

A pair of millipedes

The same pair as above after mating

Photo © Steven Herbert

They can be found in coastal forest

These millipedes are common in coastal forests in KwaZulu-Natal

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 14


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