a-1,306-legged-millipede-is-the-first-to-live-up-to-its-name

Millipedes, as we’ve known them, have been a lie. The Latin name for the arthropods implies an impressive set of 1,000 feet. Yet no millipede with more than 750 legs has ever been found, until now.

The first millipede that lives up to its name uses its 1,306 little legs to tunnel through soil deep beneath the semi-arid scrubland of Western Australia, researchers report December 16 in Scientific Reports. Dubbed Eumillipes persephone, it’s the leggiest creature ever known to crawl Earth.

Researchers nabbed the specimen and seven other curiously long, threadlike millipedes by dropping cups baited with leaf litter into drill holes used for mineral prospecting that were up to 60 meters deep. Eventually, the creatures were sent to entomologist Paul Marek at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg for a closer look. 

a black and white microscope image of a dozen pairs of millipede legs

Sign Up For the Latest from Science News

Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles, delivered to your inbox

Thank you for signing up!

There was a problem signing you up.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here