Giant African Millipede

Archispirostreptus gigas

The Largest Millipede

The Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) has been called the largest of the millipedes. It grows up to 11 inches in length. In Africa, where it is found, it lives in rotting plant material and generally avoids light.

In the exotic pet trade, the Giant African Millipede is a popular pet.

Interesting Facts

  • One of the defense methods of the giant millipede is to squirt a liquid (hydrochloric acid). This defense is rarely used and is generally not harmful to humans. However, one of the Untamed Science crew (Hazen), upon looking closely at a millipede, was squirted in the eye, causing it to dilate for several hours.
  • Baby millipedes eat the dung of their parents for food. This means they are coprophagous.

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Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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