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Some millipedes.
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From Latin millipeda (wood louse), from mille (thousand) + pedis (foot).


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɪləpid/
  • (file)


millipede (plural millipedes)

  1. Any of many elongated arthropods, of the class Diplopoda, with cylindrical bodies that have two pairs of legs for each one of their 20 to 100 or more body segments.[From 1600]
    • 1993, Rod Preston-Mafham, The Encyclopedia of Land Invertebrate Behaviour, page 14,
      With one or two exceptions, male millipedes make direct contact with the female and transfer sperm via a pair of modified front legs (gonopods) which have been charged with semen from the genitalia situated towards the rear of the body.
    • 2005, Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects, page 276,
      When alive, millipedes maintain tension in these[intersegmental] muscles and are therefore difficult to straighten out when coiled.
    • 2006, Boris A. Byzov, 4: Intestinal Microbiota of Millipedes, Helmut König, Ajit Varma (editors), Intestinal Microorganisms of Termites and Other Invertebrates, page 89,
      Soil millipedes (Diplopoda) possess a specific gut microbiota that differs from microbial communities in soil and leaf litter.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The spelling "milliped" was formerly considered the only correct form by prescriptivists and is still preferred by many scientists who work with myriapods, but millipede is by far the most common spelling in actual use.


See also[edit]