Subject: Same as “Possible Hawaiian Centipede!?”
Location: Nokesville, VA
May 24, 2017 4:43 pm
My daughter & I were exiting a natural wooded trail in Nokesville, VA today (Northern Virginia), when she gasped & stopped at sight of this dragon-like creature. I shot a photo, then tapped it with a stick, & it fell apart into multiple segments sliding off its center. Gross!
It has been very wet here lately, so I thought–once researching this image–that it might not have survived due to our almost nonstop rain this spring, if it’s a desert centipede..! Seeing that another person found one just like ours in Fredericksburg is astounding! That’s only an hour south of where we found ours.
This is NOT a Hawaiian Centipede. You have discovered the remains of a native Millipede, possibly Apheloria virginiensis based on this BugGuide image and according to a comment on that posting: “I’ve seen these here in southern VA; they were common where we lived in southern MD too. They are quite tame, and I have handled them many times without any problems. The cyanide secretion makes them smell just like marzipan! One day in MD I was walking thru the woods and came to a room-sized area of tall dead weed stems, and each one of the stalks had one of these millipedes curled up dead, on top of it. There were at least 50 of them. They had apparently all decided together that it was time to go, like a crustacean Jonestown. Very weird, spooky and sad.” It should be noted however that Millipedes are NOT Crustaceans. Perhaps your individual was preyed upon by a Glowworm.