Monday, April 29, 2013

Apheloria virginiensis-A Fascinating Millipede

video 

One of the bonuses of owning a bit of land that has been left wild for many years is to discover all of the new and wonderful (and some not so wonderful--like ticks) native flora and fauna. We've already discovered a rare in its range native plant called American Columbo.  We have also recently identified one of the trees we left in our field to shade our house as a persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana). I am very excited about that as I've not grown persimmon before. Persimmons can be messy but they are actually a well recommended shade tree and Mr. Fix-it and I really do want to grow fruit. Our newest find is a large millipede. We spotted it on the leaf litter as we were walking up our driveway. Mr. Fix-it videotaped it for me. I believe it to be an Apheloria virginiensis. We think it most neat and never kill these kinds of things unless we know they are harmful. One other native that grows quite robustly all along the tree line on the property is poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). We will have to be very careful with all of the wildings because while we are having fun exploring and learning sometimes things are meant to be left alone....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

14 comments:

  1. Interesting critters out there thats for sure. I've had a few bad run in with poison ivy along trout streams to care much for them though...:)

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    1. Poison ivy is a an AWFUL thing Troutbirder. A bane everywhere-native or not.

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  2. Hi Tina...I bet you're finding all kinds of neat stuff on the land!!It's like being a pioneer!

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    1. Good morning Christy! Yes, really neat things. I am heading out there soon to plant some 'Ice Follies'. Wonder what I'll find today? I hope something neat and nice!

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  3. Tina, we see these every few weeks. Noticed one go right under one of our chickens, she looked at it and did not eat it. Centipedes the chickens eat quickly.

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    1. Randy, I've read where these millipedes can secrete a cyanide. The chickens may know this and steer clear. Smart chickens!

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  4. Are the millipedes omnivorous? Maybe they're working to control the tick population. Let them have it with the cyanide! We had our first run-in with ticks in Florida this weekend. It's strange that we had never encountered them before.

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  5. Oh goodie on the discovery of the American Columbo! The Saint will be happy to know you have identified it...

    Now on the persimmon, our next door neighbor had one in their yard which hung over into our driveway. All I have to say is ICK.... When they drop fruit and it rots, oh boy does it smell not to mention messed up the car if parked in the area. I learned to not like those trees. Now, if it is away from your house and in an area where it can drop the fruit at will and not interfere with anything, then go for it but you may learn to regret this decision in time.

    We have all kinds of neat creepy crawlies in our gardens. We do not bother them and let them do what ever their job may be...

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  6. I can't wait to see all the fun discoveries!!

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  7. I love your garden, I love your blog. You never cease to amaze me with the little creatures you show us. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  8. You in those creatures' (and plants') space. They aren't likely to want to give it all up easily! Neat that you have a variety of trees.

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  9. I'll take the millipede over the ticks:) How nice to have a persimmon tree--my husband's aunt used to always make the most delicious persimmon pudding for family dinners, but persimmons are not that easy to find around here. Watch out for that poison ivy, though!

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  10. I think I have a picture of that millipede. They are really big, and kind of bizarre. I am not fond of the ticks either.
    I know exploring your new land is exciting. Hope you find all sorts of fun native plants. I have found so many AND some have appeared this year that hadn't in prior years, and vise versa...here a couple years ago then never to be seen again.

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  11. Those millipedes do indeed emit a bit of cyanide, probably just a deterrent. But it makes them smell just like marzipan! They are quite tame and otherwise harmless. Might want to wash hands after holding one, that stuff can irritate your eyes, or so i hear. They don't eat ticks, tho; that's wishful thinking. They are pretty much vegetarians and scavengers. And persimmons are great. Good hard wood, nice fruit if you let them ripen until they are all soft. Otherwise quite unpleasant, like a mouthful of alum. They make good wine, too!

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