We recently received five photos from a reader containing images of different caterpillars. He hopes we will identify them. We will be writing an article for each of these different organisms! This is the fifth of the caterpillar posts.
Another surprise! Just like the last “caterpillar”, this one is actually a millipede! This millipede has black and yellow bands lining it’s body, and red legs. We believe this is an Apheloria virginensis millipede, also belonging to the flat-backed millipede genus. We do not know its common name besides it being known as a large North American millipede.
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Like the yellow-spotted millipede, it secrets toxic cyanide compounds in self-defense. If you should ever come in direct contact with this millipede, you should wash your hands immediately.
To summarize, while we at first thought this creature was a caterpillar, we quickly became aware of its legs and determined it to be a millipede of the species Apheloria virginesis.
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