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?
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.
Order common name: Millipede (zen leecher)
Order taxonomic name: ????????
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.
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).