Black and Red-striped Worm is an American Giant Millipede

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“What kind of worm is this?” asks this reader about the black and red-striped, worm-like creature pictured below. “It’s about 3-to-4-inches long, found in Pottsboro, Texas on grass and asphalt.” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the incredible photo! Photos like this, that are crisp and clear, and taken in good lighting, really help us identify the creature fast. Which brings us to the identity of this magnificent creature: this is an American giant millipede. When you say the word ‘millipede’, or ‘centipede’ (cousin of the millipede), to anyone, they are likely to shiver, let alone when you say ‘giant millipede’.

Despite the common fear of millipedes, they are rather harmless creatures. Even the giant ones! The American giant millipede is no exception. The most they can do is secrete a smelly toxin which can cause allergic reactions in some (causing irritation and itching), but nothing that is severe. Usually, you can handle a millipede with no consequences, though we usually discourage physical contact with them, as the aforementioned allergic reaction is still possible. The American giant millipede, like most species of millipedes, feed on decomposing organic litter, particularly wood and leaf litter. That said, these guys have also been found eating fresh fruit and deer droppings, and prefer these to leaves and wood if given the choice. Regardless of what they do choose, they are helping break down these organic materials, and are considered beneficial to the environment.

American giant millipedes can live up to 11 years! This means they can do a lot of good for the environment in their lifetime, and we want to stress that killing them is not a good option. We recommend just letting this creature roam about, dig some holes, and process some organic materials! With that said, if our reader wants to prevent millipedes from entering their property, we recommend removing any piles of organic debris from their yard (like leaves and twigs) as millipedes like to hide in these. Additionally, keeping one’s home as dry and warm as possible is key to preventing millipede infestations, as they typically prefer cool, moist environments.

In conclusion, the black and red-striped worm our reader found is an American giant millipede. As scary as they might look, they are harmless. We suggest simply leaving it alone. We hope our reader has found this informative and helpful, and we wish them the very best!

 

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Summary
Black and Red-striped Worm is an American Giant Millipede
Article Name
Black and Red-striped Worm is an American Giant Millipede
Description
"What kind of worm is this?" asks this reader about the black and red-striped, worm-like creature pictured below. "It's about 3-to-4-inches long, found in Pottsboro, Texas on grass and asphalt." To start with, we want to thank our reader for the incredible photo! Photos like this, that are crisp and clear, and taken in good lighting, really help us identify the creature fast. Which brings us to the identity of this magnificent creature: this is an American giant millipede. When you say the word 'millipede', or 'centipede' (cousin of the millipede), to anyone, they are likely to shiver, let alone when you say 'giant millipede'.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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