December 2, 2020
Ben here with today's edition of #BenInNature! There is an enormous diversity of millipedes in the Appalachians, and I have a hard time telling them apart. Fortunately, I can always pester Dr. Jackson Means, VMNH's resident myriapodologist (millipede expert)! According to Dr. Means, this attractive little fellow is Pseudopolydesmus canadensis.
These millipedes are found in central to northern Appalachia and in the northeast, and they're often found at higher elevations. There are eight to twelve known species in the genus Pseudopolydesmus, and the genus itself belongs to the order Polydesmida, also known as the "flat-backed" millipedes. Because, well, look at 'em.
These little guys are commonly found in leaf litter, and like the vast majority of millipedes, they're vegetarians that feed on decaying plant matter. I found this one in some leaf litter just about two weeks ago, so if you feel like going on a millipede hunt, it's not too late!
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