Project Description

Photo Credit: Joe Fratena

Giant African Millipede

Archispirostreptus gigas

Animal Class: Invertebrate

Length: 4-14 inches

Lifespan: 5-10 years

Diet: Detritivore—they eat decaying organic matter.

Habitat: Lowland east Africa

Description: The giant African millipede is the largest species of millipede. Despite its name, which means “thousand feet,” this species of millipede has about 256 total legs, two legs per body segment. However, they get larger each time they molt, so they can have as many as 400 legs.

Although they aren’t venomous like the similar-looking centipede, giant African millipedes can defend themselves by curling up into a tight spiral or by secreting an irritating liquid from pores on their body.

Conservation Status: Least Concern