Spotted Snake Millipede

Turn over a stone in your garden and you may be lucky enough to find the Spotted Snake Millipede (Blaniulus guttulatus). The specimens here were found in small groups, and in the presence of Budapest Slugs (Tandonia budapestensis). As far as I can find there are no known relationships between these species, so for now I will put it down to coincidence!

 

Spotted Snake Millipede

HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION

Living in the soil (gardens, woodlands, farmland), the spotted snake millipede is a pest of crops such as potatoes or cereal that have already been attacked by fungi or disease. Found over most of the UK (except northern parts of Scotland), the spotted snake millipede is also found in central and western Europe. It has also been introduced to parts of North America, Tasmania and Norfolk Island. 

 

Spotted Snake Millipede

DESCRIPTION

With an average male length of 8 - 12mm and an average female length of 12 - 15mm, it is very easy to overlook these tiny myriapods. On close inspection though, you can spot rows of red spots running the length of the milky white and cream body. These spots (ozadenes) are a type of scent gland, used to repel predators. Like all millipedes the spotted snake millipede has many pairs of legs (an average of around 60 segments), and this particular species is blind.

 

Spotted Snake Millipede

OTHER NOTABLE FACTS

Two other UK species that are similar to the spotted snake millipede are Archiboreoiulus pallidus and Boreoiulus tenuis, but both of these have orange ozadenes.