We just heard from a reader in the Netherlands who found some “strange millipedes”. Unlike typical millipedes, which have a flat shell, these are covered in bumps. He is curious if these millipedes are sick, or what might be causing the bumps. Finally he mentioned that upon further inspection he noticed that some of the aforementioned “bumps” fell off and have tiny legs, which leads him to believe these might be parasites. We are very curious to investigate this case!
We aren’t sure if the reader is positive that these are millipedes, or if he simply thinks they are, but we will trust him. He sent in several photos that capture detailed images of the critters and these bumps. Due to the plethora of bumps, we don’t recognize the legs that usually indicate we are dealing with millipedes.
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The bumps are very tiny, light brown, and cover every available surface of the millipedes. Like our reader mentioned, some of these bumps have fallen off and we can see what look like tiny legs on them.
This is unlike anything we have ever seen here at All About Worms. We believe these millipedes may be covered in mites. There are some mites that might land on a millipede for a couple seconds but move when startled, however this doesn’t seem to be the scenario here. Mites that are firmly clustered and attached to a millipede could be parasitic, and these are often called grain mites. Grain mites appear when there is abundant uneaten food. We aren’t sure if this man is keeping pet millipedes, but if so he should consider feeding them less at different intervals, or to replace their current food with a leaner food. Another option is introducing predatory mites that will eat the grain mites.
To summarize, a reader wrote to us about some bumps covering millipedes. We think that these “bumps” could actually be parasitic grain mites.
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