Tachypodoiulus niger (black millipede)

Tachypodoiulus niger is easily recognisable thanks to its white legs contrasting against its very shiny black, narrow trunk.

It can vary in size from 15-39mm long.

Species detail

  • Tachypodoiulus niger walking on moss
    Distribution and ecology

    The black millipede is very common in Britain and Ireland. Find out where to look for it.

  • Large adult Tachypodoiulus niger
    Biology

    Black millipedes do not begin breeding until they are almost 3 years old, and can live for up to 9 years.

Images

Black millipede in defensive spiral

This black millipede is sometimes known as the white-legged snake millipede, thanks to its striking white legs. It coils into a defensive spiral when it feels threatened.

Tachypodoiulus niger walking on moss

Tachypodoiulus niger walking on moss.

© Stemonitis
Close up of the white legs of Tachypodoiulus niger

A close up of the white legs of Tachypodoiulus niger.

© Alan Hadley
Close up of the head of Tachypodoiulus niger

Close up of the head of Tachypodoiulus niger.

© Alan Hadley
Author
Kelly Inward

Kelly Inward
Lab Manager
Soil Biodiversity Group




Author's quote

Tachpodoiulus niger came to my attention during the many field trips I organise for the Soil Biodiversity Group.  Because of its characteristic contrasting colouring it is very simple to identify in the field which can be very satisfying!  It is also easy to teach others who may well see it in their own gardens.

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