Millipedes Are Some Of The Oldest Creatures To Walk On Land But Are Millipedes Poisonous?
Last Updated on June 3, 2020 by Ephraim Iyodo
Millipedes are one of the historical creatures on earth but are millipedes poisonous that rather a good question, Millipedes are a group of arthropods that are characterised by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments ; they are known scientifically as the class Diplopoda, the name being derived from this feature.
Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together.
Are Millipedes Truly Poisonous?
Millipedes, unlike centipedes, are not poisonous and are generally considered non-venomous.
However, there are some species of millipedes that produce irritating fluids from glands located on the side of their body.
These liquids can cause relatively minor irritation if they come into contact with the skin of a person who is sensitive to these liquids and has unknowingly crushed one or more millipedes.
The millipede’s defensive fluids are quite pungent, in addition to causing skin irritation to some individuals.
For this reason, use protective gloves or thoroughly wash your hands when handling millipedes since differentiating between millipedes is extremely hard to determine.
Therefore, never handle millipedes with your bare hands; instead, be sure, always wear hand coverings if you touch or otherwise handle millipedes.
Another recommendation is to never rub one’s eyes if millipedes were handled since their defensive fluid is extremely irritation to the eyes.
As one might expect, millipedes use these irritating fluids for defense against predators.
The toxin from the millipede’s glands is primarily made up of hydrochloric acid and hydrogen cyanide. These two substances, respectively, have a burning and asphyxiation effect on the millipede’s predators.
In large quantities, the toxin is harmful to humans, too. However, the quantity millipedes emit is so small that it can’t poison people.
Aside from predators, humans can also come into contact with this toxin.
For example, if you were to pick up a millipede that has coiled in defense, you might notice a brownish tint to your skin after you put the millipede back down.
You can wash the liquid off your hands, but it still might stain temporarily.