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Photo Information
Copyright: Sumon Sinha (Mana) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-04
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H2
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animals' Behavior, part one [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-06-06 0:55
Viewed: 6191
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today I present this fairly large congregation of Millipedes seen inside Chandaka WLS, which is situated near Bhubaneswar. Interestingly I found them to be shifting from one spot to the other in the same formation and that too fairly quickly. I observed them for quite some time and was amazed to see them shift. It was a phenomenon and behaviour I had not seen or read before and I wanted to share this image with everyone here.

Shot taken hand-held in fairly good natural light. Hope everyone like it. This is a full frame shot.

Millipedes (Class Diplopoda, previously also known as Chilognatha) are arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment (except for the first segment behind the head which does not have any appendages at all, and the next few which only have one pair of legs). Each segment that has two pairs of legs is a result of two single segments fused together as one. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical bodies, although some are flattened dorso-ventrally, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball, like a pillbug. Millipedes are detritivores and slow moving. Most millipedes eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter, moisturising the food with secretions and then scraping it in with the jaws. However they can also be a minor garden pest, especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings. Signs of millipede damage include the stripping of the outer layers of a young plant stem and irregular damage to leaves and plant apices.

This class contains around 10,000 species. There are 13 orders and 115 families.

The millipede's most obvious feature is its large number of legs. In fact, its name is a compound word formed from the Latin roots milli ("thousand") and ped ("foot"). However, common species have between 36 and 400 legs.

Having very many short legs makes millipedes rather slow, but they are powerful burrowers. With their legs and body length moving in a wavelike pattern, they easily force their way underground head first. They also seem to have some engineering ability, reinforcing the tunnel by rearranging the particles around it.Their bodies have segmented sections which makes them move in a wave-like form.

The head contains a pair of sensory organs known as the Tömösváry organs. These are found just posterior and lateral to the antennae, and are shaped as small and oval rings at the base of the antennae. They are probably used to measure the humidity in the surroundings, and they may have some chemoreceptory abilities too. Millipede eyes consist of a number of simple flat lensed ocelli arranged in a group on the front/side of the head. Many species of millipedes, such as cave-dwelling millipedes, have secondarily lost their eyes.

Male millipedes can be differentiated from female millipedes by the presence of one or two pairs of legs modified into gonopods. These modified legs are used to transfer sperm packets to the female during copulation.

Due to their lack of speed and their inability to bite or sting, millipedes' primary defense mechanism is to curl into a tight coil — protecting their delicate legs inside an armoured body exterior. Many species also emit poisonous liquid secretions or hydrogen cyanide gas through microscopic pores along the sides of their bodies as a secondary defense. Some of these substances are caustic and can burn the exoskeleton of ants and other insect predators, and the skin and eyes of larger predators. Animals such as Capuchin monkeys have been observed intentionally irritating millipedes in order to rub the chemicals on themselves to repel mosquitoes.

As far as humans are concerned, this chemical brew is fairly harmless, usually causing only minor effects on the skin, the main effect being discoloration, but other effects may also include pain, itching, local erythema, edema, blisters, eczema, and occasionally cracked skin. Eye exposures to these secretions causes general eye irritation and potentially more severe effects such as conjunctivitis and keratitis. First aid consists of flushing the area thoroughly with water; further treatment is aimed at relieving the local effects.

Scientific classification -
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Myriapoda
Class: Diplopoda

anel, cataclysta, Pearl, jaycee, CeltickRanger, kedarkulkarni, eqshannon, eng55, haraprasan, goldyrs, Luis52, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
phenomenawinterpalace 1 12-08 05:34
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 02-13 08:24
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-06 1:27]

Hello Sumon,
That's a very interesting and original posting. I never have seen this behaviour either. Must have been very fascinating to look at this strange ballet! A very good picture, like always and a very precious document.
Un grand merci
Kind regards

Hi Sumon,
This is something I have never seen before either,not least because I have only ever seen millipedes beneath logs and rocks,doing their very best to avoid being exposed to daylight.

These do look like unusually large millipedes too.
Thanks for sharing this excellent picture.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-06-06 3:25]

very informative and rare image. basically this is safety in numbers strategy by them. fine capture. tfs.

Hello Sumon
a great capture of Millipedes, very good sharpness and impressive details, very beautiful colours, an interesting picture composed very well.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-06-06 8:36]

Hi Sumon,suurely isn't a common situation a group of millipeds like that.You was lucky to found that and perfct to take from the best point of view.Top quality of sharpness and colors,my best compliments,have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-06-06 9:07]

Hi Sumon,

It's very interesting, but the subject does not attract me, on the contrary!

But, it's a good shot!!!



Hi Sumon
I am glad to see you back on TN ;-) Great observation and very good, eduactional image. Nice POV good sharpness and informative note
I am waiting for more

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-06-06 9:24]

Hi Sumon,
What an interesting natural phenomenon!
It must have been fascinating to watch.
Good capture of this congregation, very sharp and well-composed.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2009-06-06 13:22]

Hello Sumon,

This is an excellent capture. I have never seen anything like it before and i am thankful to you that i can learn something about these species today.Lovely notes and POV. The colors and tones are natural and fresh. Looks like the rain just did it's work as the sand around the millipedes looks wet. Nice sharpness and exposure. TFS.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-06-06 16:46]

Hi Sumon,

Fascinating! This is something I would love to see - I imagine it would be hypnotic and hard to leave. Excellent capture of the action with all the ingredients of a mana picture. The colors, details, and composition are all outstanding.


hello Sumon

excellent photo of these Millipedes insects,
they could be nice food for birds, fine POV,
beautiful warm luminosity and colour tones,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-07 3:47]

Hi Sumon,
what an excellent presentation. The cluster of them is so wonderful and it is something new to me.
thanks for sharing this new information and phenomena.


Hi Sumon,

Superb capture this one. Rare photo. Very nice composition.


What a lovely design they make...this is sort of Markus but with living creatures. Not only does ones eyes change the view but every a nanosecond, each change in each insect..all changes and is flowing...wow!

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-06-10 9:01]

Hi Sumon,
Interesting and unusual shot.Well caught,framed and composed.Colors,details and visual impact are excellent.
Thanks for posting..

Hi Sumon Da,
Good to see you posting again in TN. A nice capture of these millipedes. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Uhh, nothing for me. But very intersting.
Best wishes,

Sumon da,
We hardly get to know when you're on!
A superb shot (I think I've missed a few shots of yours, too)!
I love the simplistic composition...But the thought of having so many of these so close by seems frightening!

no,Sumon.....a billion feet!!!
unique capture!!

best sERGIO

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-07-01 19:40]

Hola Sr. Sumon.
I have seen "Milpies" here too, but not in a reunion with a lot of friends. I like the way they "Twist" if You touch them. Am I right?
Great photo Sumon. Excellent note.
Saludos My friend.

Dear Sumon,
I have been away for three weeks and work my way through the photos posted.

I hope that you are not unwell, having not added an image to your portfolio since October!

Funny - I posted a collage about millipedes at my return see link Link
- and the handling of these animals, particularly the dead, red one caused me rather unpleasant blisters...

The behaviour described in your notes is very interesting, and I have added the image to my theme about Animal Behaviour.

Have a nice week-end
Kind regards

Hi Sumon

Very interesting phenomena and great you were able to observe this unusual behaviour!



Dear Sumon,
Very interesting shot, and I add your work to my theme "Animals' Behaviour, part one"

We have in South Africa millipedes, which look alike and their common name is chongololo. I have to wait for somebody climbing the book shelves to get my book and look up for you the proper name...
They curl up like ammonites when in danger and squirt some smelly excretion, and when toddlers put a chongololo in their mouth, their poor lips start foaming, and after a few days they look like Lepers :-)

Thanks for sharing
Warm Regards

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