White-legged snake millipede

White-legged Snake Millipede

White-legged Snake Millipede ©northeastwildlife.co.uk

White-legged snake millipede

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Scientific name: Tachypodoiulus niger
Found in compost heaps and under stones in gardens, the White-legged snake millipede is a common minibeast. Despite its name, it has about 100 legs. It is an important recycler of nutrients, feeding on decaying matter.

Top facts


Length: up to 6cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


There are a number of millipede species in the UK, the most familiar being the black, cylindrical Tachypodoiulusspecies, such as the White-legged snake millipede. This millipede can be found under rocks or in rotting trees in gardens and woodland. Millipedes are very long, many-segmented invertebrates that live in the soil, under rocks, or under the bark of trees. They are vegetarians, eating mildew and decaying vegetation, and perform a useful nutrient-recycling function in various habitats.

What to look for

The White-legged snake millipede has a shiny black, long, cylindrical body and contrasting white legs. Millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment of their body, whereas similar centipedes have one. The White-legged snake millipede has about 100 legs. There are many millipede species in the UK, which can be difficult to tell apart.

Where to find


Did you know?

White-legged snake millipedes will curl up into a ball if disturbed and can release a pungent fluid from their sides to deter predators.