What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant Millipede?
Location: Gold Run, CA
March 11, 2013 7:43 pm
Assuming this is a Giant Millipede, although I know ”Giant” is in the eye of the beholder! He/She was very calm and attractive – once my little girls got over their fear they had a lot of fun. No distinguishing colors other than shades of grey. Turned him/her loose in the overgrowth after taking a pic – any info would be great! Thanks again, love your website!
Signature: Whitnei B.



Hi Whitnei,
Since most Millipedes are much smaller, calling this a giant Millipede makes perfect sense.  We are uncertain how many different species of large Millipedes can be found in northern California, and most likely even scientists are certain how many species can be found.  According to our favorite source for information on southern California “bugs”, Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “Several species live in the basin;  most are small and inconspicuous.  But two closely related species,
Hiltonius pulchrus and Tylobolus claremontus, are very large (exceeding 3 in., or 8 cm, in length) and a third species, Atopetholus californicus (=angelus), is only slight smaller (up to 2 in., or 50mm).  All are otherwise similar, with cylindrical shiny black, dark gray , or brown bodies.”  The genus Hiltonius is represented on BugGuide  Tylobolus is also represented on BugGuide and Atopetholus can be found on BugGuide as well.  We can’t say for certain if your Millipede is in one of those genera or if it is in a different classification. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Gold Run, California

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