American Giant Millipede
Large, cylindrical millipede that was 10 cm long! I spotted this one, along with dozens of others throughout a mostly coniferous forest and wetland.
This species can grow to be about twice as large as any other millipede that lives in North America. They curl up into a spiral when threatened. They have two pairs of legs on most body segments, and are gray/black with red lines on the edge of each segment. Millipedes have spiracles on their body segments, which are connected both to their respiratory systems and to pairs of ozadenes (stink glands). These ozadenes can release noxious substances, which may cause serious chemical burns. However. unlike many other millipedes, the North American Millipede doesn't release hydrogen cyanide. They do however, excrete a substance that causes a temporary discoloration of the skin. They do not bite, and their only defense is their secretions.
''Narceus americanus'' is a large millipede of eastern North America. Common names include American giant millipede, worm millipede, and iron worm. It inhabits the eastern seaboard of North America west to Georgetown, Texas, north of the Ottine swamps. It has a nearly cylindrical gray body, reaching a length of 4 inches . When threatened, they sometimes curl up or release a noxious liquid that contains large amounts of benzoquinones which can cause dermatological burns. This fluid may irritate eyes.. more