flat-backed millipede

(Pleuroloma flavipes)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Not uncommon

Flight/Season

 

Habitat

Mixed and deciduous forests, and adjacent fields and other open areas

Size

Total Length: to 1916 (10 to 40 mm)

         
         
          Kyle Roggenbuck
 
Identification

Pleuroloma flavipes is a common, widespread, and well-known flat-backed millipede. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains and in Ontario, Canada. It is found on the ground and under logs in deciduous and mixed woodlands and in adjacent fields and other open areas. Occasionally large numbers appear in mass aggregations, sometimes migrating across a field or forest floor.

The adult is to 1916 (10 to 40 mm) long and appears flattened when viewed from the side. The head is large and round. There are no compound eyes or simple eyes (ocelli) – it is blind. There are 20 body rings. Each ring is covered above with a hard, rigid plate (tergite). Each tergite is blackish-brown with yellow or yellowish markings, a wrinkled or roughened surface, and a distinct horizontal ridge (keel). There is no dorsal groove. The color pattern is variable, common throughout a single population but differing between neighboring populations. The rear (posterior) margin is has a yellow band that widest in the middle. The lateral margin of each tergite is slightly extended horizontally, and this extension is usually yellow. There is sometimes a wedge-shaped yellow or orange mark at the forward (anterior) corners of each tergite.

The legs are yellow. Segments 5 through 18 each have two pairs of legs, segments 3 and 4 each have one pair of legs, and segments 2 and 19 have no legs. There is one pair of legs in front of segment 3, but this is not on segment 2, which is little more than an upper plate. On the male, the front pair of legs on the seventh ring are modified as reproductive structures (gonopods). The structure of the gonopod is unique to each species and is an important identifying feature. The hind pair of legs on the seventh ring of the male are normal walking legs. The ninth and tenth legs (L9 and L10) on both sexes are are normal walking legs, not reduced in size.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

Rotting vegetation and fungi

 
Life Cycle

Eggs and juveniles overwinter in chambers in the soil deep enough to not freeze.

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.

 
Comments

No Common Name
This species has no common name. The common name of the order Polydesmida is flat-backed millipedes, and is applied here for the sake of convenience.

 
Taxonomy

Class:

Diplopoda (millipedes)

 

Subclass:

Helminthomorpha

 

Order:

Polydesmida (flat-backed millipedes)

 

Family:

Xystodesmidae

 

Subfamily:

Xystodesminae

 

Tribe:

Rhysodesmini

 

Genus:

Pleuroloma

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

no common name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Tergum; tergite

The upper (dorsal), hardened plate on a segment of the thorax or abdomen of an arthropod or myriapod. Plural: terga.

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
Share your photo of this myriapod.
 

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
Kyle Roggenbuck
       
  flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
Share your video of this insect.
   

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
       
Other Videos
 
       
       
       
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this myriapod.
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Kyle
Roggenbuck

6/24/2020

Location: Lochness Park, Blaine, MN

flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)


 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 7/4/2020

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.