Characteristics of myriapods

What are centipedes, millipedes and centipedes like

Myriapod characteristics

Photo of Himantarium gabrielis centiped

Myriapods are a group of arthropod invertebrates that have a segmented and worm-shaped body. Unlike worms, their bodies are not soft, but are hardened by mineral salts.

The head of these arthropods is much smaller than the body and is provided with antennae and eyes, which, unlike insects, are not made up of smaller units, but rather have simple eyes (and sometimes they don’t even have them).

These invertebrates are arthropods equipped with many legs, some of them have just over 20 legs but there are other myriapods that reach up to almost 1000 legs. As the best known myriapods we can mention Megarian banded centipede, a type of centipede, and the many-legged myriapods, millipedes.

These animals live in the terrestrial environment, although they seek humidity by taking refuge under stones, logs or among the dead leaves.

Main characteristics of myriapods

Megarian banded centiped
Megarian banded centiped photo. This species is an example of a large myriapod

In addition to having a long, hardened and segmented body, myriapods are mainly characterized by:

  • Head with a pair of antennae and a pair of jaws.
  • Long body divided into 2 regions: head and trunk.
  • Body formed by rings, for each ring 1 or 2 pairs of legs come out.
  • Tracheal breathing.
  • Dioecious sexual reproduction.
  • They do not undergo metamorphosis.
  • Terrestrial behaviour.
  • Carnivorous or herbivorous diets.

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Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

8 November, 2022

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