By: Juan Carlos Narváez D.
It was yesterday when Nixon Napa, one of our expedition assistants, spotted this millipede walking on the forest floor as he headed towards the Torrenteer Frog Waterfall.
Millipedes belong to the Diplopoda group, (from the Greek “diplóos”, double and “podos”, feet) and are a class of Miriapoda that is known for having two pairs of feet, mainly articulated in their body segments.
Their name is somewhat confusing because they would never have 1,000 feet – most have between 34 and 400.
Millipedes feed on decomposing leaves and other dead organic material (detritus), and so play a vital role in the recycling of nutrients from the forest floor.
In general, they are inoffensive, although a few species have pores along their bodies that secrete irritant and toxic substances that they use to defend themselves against predators.