Subject: Leggy in the mid Atlantic
Geographic location of the bug: St George’s, Bermuda
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dearest Bugman,
I was hoping you could kindly identify this creepy crawler I spotted while in vacation in Bermuda. Caterpillar? Centipede? You know more intel that I could ever hope for.
How you want your letter signed : Melanie on the Irish Chain
Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
This is neither a Caterpillar nor a Centipede. It is a Millipede. The word Centipede has Latin roots and means 100 legs. Similarly Millipede is Latin for 1000 legs. Though the leg count is not accurate regarding the numerical values, the name difference is due to Centipedes having a single pair of legs per body segment while the Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment. Millipedes do not bite, however, some species can give off a noxious gas that contains cyanide. You may read about this on Cool Green Science where it states: “Cyanide is so toxic to most living organisms that it was once thought that cyanide millipedes were running the risk of killing themselves each time released this secretion; that they must close off the openings that they use to breathe in order to survive. But scientists found that the millipedes are immune to cyanide — able to process it and convert it into harmless chemicals.”