First millipede to fully justify the name has been found

Millipede (if you want to be precise) is a name that cannot fairly be ascribed to any previous millipedes! Millipede means “thousand feet”, which means that all previous millipedes do not deserve the name. The “millipede with the most legs before this animal was a Californian millipede species with 750 legs.

The new species has been named Eumilipes Persephone had grows to about 95mm long, and has more than 1306 legs along its body. You are unlikely to stumble on this creature as it was found almost 60m under ground in Australia.

The animals scientific name means true thousand feet. As with most animals that live below the surface, the animal is colourless and without eyes. It is thought that it only eats fungi. Leg number does not appear to be a constant, with other specimens having 998, 818 and 778 legs.

This new species joins a list of more than 13,000 different species. Millipedes are an ancient lineage going back 400 million years. It is thought that millipedes were the first land living species.

See Animals Wild