April 10, 2010
this is the second group of pics , from the mountains of tartous.
this worm produced a very disgusting smelly liquid,as i tried to poke it.
native people here call it “the mother of all snakes”.what is it?
thank you bug people…i have been very demanding lately.
Hi again WAEL,
This is an easy identification, provided we don’t need to go to the species level. This is not a worm, but a Millipede in the class Diplopoda. Your letter contains the observation regarding the “smelly liquid” which is released as a defense mechanism. According to BugGuide: “many emit poisonous or foul-smelling substances” and Charles Hogue, in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin indicates that cyanide is a component of this substance. One of your photos also depicts a second defense mechanism, coiling into a ball. Thanks so much for providing the excellent local name of “the mother of all snakes.”