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Giant African Millipede

Archispirostreptus gigas

giant african millipede

According to fossils, millipedes were the first animals to colonize land, the Giant African millipede is the largest of this species. The word millipede means one thousand feet; their body is divided into 30 – 40 segments each with 4 legs. A millipede will use every part of its body to smell and taste. As a result of their poor eyesight they are nocturnal plus they will communicate through touch.

In Africa, millipedes are known as shongololos which means to roll up. The jaws of the giant millipede are not strong so they can not give a powerful bite. To defend themselves, they roll up into a ball and secrete a foul fluid from their pores.


  • Animal class: Invertebrate (Diplopoda)

  • Habitat: They burrow and live in the ground of rainforests.

  • Diet: Detritivores: The diet consists of feeding on dead and decaying organic material making them decomposers.

  • Size: The body length of this millipede can go up to 40 centimetres with a circumference of near 8 cms.

  • Location: The giant millipede is found in west Africa

  • Conservation status: The IUCN has not evaluated this species.

  • Threats: Not much research has been carried out on the giant millipede to be aware of any threats.

  • Current population: Unknown

  • Zoo population: Unknown

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature