|Portuguese Millipede, Ommatoiulus moreleti.|
|Millipede, Mt Kupe, western Cameroon.|
|A similar pattern can be seen in this beauty from outside the Gomantong Caves in Sabah.|
You may have noticed that with the last picture I stopped offering names; sorry to let you down, but the fact is that there are 10,000 known millipede species, about the same number of species as there are of birds in the world. In fact they form their own Class, as do birds, with all the diversity that implies. The rest of the pictures here illustrate something of that diversity, and ubiquity.
|Machu Picchu, Peru. As far as I can tell (the front end is a bit shadowy)|
this one has 60-70 segments, ie 240-280 legs.
|Machuguenga, Peruvian Amazonia.|
A very different body pattern; this species, and the next
two, have apparently only 18 segments.
This (I suggest cautiously) puts them in the Order Polydesmida.
|Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak.|
|Mt Cameroon, Cameroon.|
|Ecuadorian Amazonia. |
The sensory antennae are obvious here, and in the next picture.
|South coast New South Wales.|
|Crocker Range National Park, Sabah.|
Having referred to them as harmless - nearly all eat decaying vegetable matter, and defend themselves solely by emitting nasty-smelling chemicals - I might get an argument from the Victorian Railways. Earlier this year Portugese Millipedes were moving in such numbers that they covered the rails, preventing signal activation.
I'm betting that millipedes will be round long after trains have become an archaeological artefact.