Subject: Not sure what this
Location: North Central Florida
November 2, 2014 6:38 am
I found this in my son’s room. I’m just wondering what it is and is it dangerous. He is 1 and puts everything in his mouth.
This is a Millipede in the class Diplopoda, and it looks like it might be a Rusty Millipede, Trigoniulus corallinus, which BugGuide states is: “Non-native. Apparently from Thailand and Myanmar. Also present in the Caribbean.” BugGuide also states: “To discourage predators, millipedes coil into a protective spiral, or roll into a defensive ball; many emit poisonous or foul-smelling substances. Many bright-colored/patterned millipedes (image below) secrete a compound containing cyanide.”
Ok great so it is nothing I should be concerned about being poisonous to my son?
To the best of our knowledge, cyanide is considered a poison, though we suspect the quantity released by a Millipede would be more likely to cause any potential predator, including your son, to spit it out immediately because of the foul taste. We do not want to go on record stating it is harmless.