Katie Brings Home a Millipede

“Daddy! I found a callerpitter, and since I didn’t want it to be lonely, I found it a friend too!”

Now, I don’t know a lot about insects and creepy crawlies, but I know what a caterpillar basically looks like. This was NOT a caterpillar.

Using my best calm voice, I asked Katie to keep the critters in a container and to not touch until Daddy had done some internet research.

Best guess, she found a pair of Apheloria tigana, aka Flat Yellow Leg Millipedes. I saw “These secretions contain a cyanide compound and a strong odor…”  and I flipped out. I ran out the door to where Katie was about to release them back onto the ground and made sure she didn’t touch them with her skin. 

Of course, after I came back inside, I read the rest of the page – “…but are harmless to the skin. They will not release their secretion if allowed to croll onto your hand.”

Oh well. Better safe than sorry.

Published by

Daniel Dessinger

Daniel is an avid people watcher and writer who shares regularly on his self-awareness site, DanielDessinger.com. Founder of CultureFeast.com in 2005. Co-Founder of Mommypotamus.com in 2009. He's on a mission to challenge the questions we ask and the assumptions we make.

3 thoughts on “Katie Brings Home a Millipede”

  1. When I was an interpretive naturalist with Tennessee state parks, I used to catch them on the trail, put them in my cupped hands and set the group smell the almond odor (cyanide) and I told them about the “warning coloration” of the critters which helped protect them. It was always a great teaching moment when I found one and they are all over the woods.

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