Arthropod #8 ID?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Taxon, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Taxon Moderator

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    [IMG]

    These arthropods were recently observed live on the bottom of a stream by an acquaintance of mine. They were collected, and later photographed. Can you identify them to order common name or order taxonomic name?
  2. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    That sure is an odd bug. Never encountered one like that unless there's a new mutant aquatic millipede.
  3. Taxon Moderator

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    hi zen leecher-

    Although they are neither mutant nor aquatic, you are correct about their being millipedes. When they migrate, usually en masse because the soil has become either too damp or too dry, they are seemingly undeterred by an intervening stream.

    IDENTIFICATIONS

    Order common name: Millipede (zen leecher)
    Order taxonomic name: ????????
  4. jwg Active Member

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    I was curious how a millipede could be an insect since insects have six legs

    I found this:

    Millipedes undergo something called anamorphic development. Each time they a millipede molts, it adds more body segments and legs. A hatchling begins life with just 6 body segments and 3 pairs of legs, but by maturity may have dozens of segments and hundreds of legs. Because millipedes are vulnerable to predators when they molt, they usually do so in an underground chamber, where they are hidden and protected.

    Jay
  5. Taxon Moderator

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    Good catch, Jay. Millipedes not not insects, even though they may start with 6 legs. However, they are arthropods, so the thread title has been appropriately changed.
  6. jwg Active Member

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    Order Polydesmida

    Jay
  7. Taxon Moderator

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    IDENTIFICATIONS

    Order common name: Millipede (zen leecher)
    Order taxonomic name: Polydesmida (jwg)
  8. jwg Active Member

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    So what features would an entomologist use to figure this out?

    I just looked at pictures and made my best guess.

    Jay
  9. Taxon Moderator

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    Hi Jay-

    That's a very good question. My suspicion would be that the shape of the antennae might be a key feature, but I really don't know. So, before posting the photo, I sent it to a Ph. D. entomologist who specializes in millipedes, and was very pleasantly surprised when he was actually able to identify them to species, Oxidus gracilis (Greenhouse Millipede).