Subject: Black and orange with yellow legs
Geographic location of the bug: Williamsburg, VA
Time: 08:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: My two year old came across this bug while picking up rocks. She touched it and ran back to me saying “ouch!” over and over. There is a red mark on her finger. I don’t know if it bit her or stung her or if it has a substance on it. We have found them in our yard before, but never touched them. She probably did not see it and just reached down for a rock. She is fine, but I can’t find a picture that matched exactly. When it unrolls it has a black “face” area. Thank you in advance for your help.
How you want your letter signed: Worried Mom
Dear Worried Mom,
This is sure a colorful Millipede, and though we are not certain of the species, we believe it might be Semionellus placidus which is pictured on BugGuide and reported from Virginia. Of the family Xystodesmidae, BugGuide indicates: “Many are brightly colored and all have stink glands.” We seem to recall that some Millipedes can release cyanide as a defense, but we will need to do additional research on that matter. We do not believe this colorful Millipede poses a threat.