Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa


Order Polyxenida - Bristly Millipedes

bug with lots of setae - Polyxenus Millipede - Polyxenus Millipede - Polyxenus collembola-like but with 4 or 5 leg pairs - Polyxenus mystery class of arthropoda; collembola-like but with 4 or 5 leg pairs - Polyxenus mystery class of arthropoda; collembola-like but with 4 or 5 leg pairs - Polyxenus bristle millipede - Polyxenus lagurus Bristly millipedes on top surface of water container - Polyxenus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Myriapoda (Myriapods)
Class Diplopoda (Millipedes)
Order Polyxenida (Bristly Millipedes)
Other Common Names
Pincushion millipedes, bristle millipedes, fuzzy millipedes
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Ancyrotricha Cook, 1895
4 families worldwide, 2 of which are known from our area. 8 species known in the US over 3 genera. (1)
Up to 4mm
Unique body shape: soft-bodied with distinctive tufts of setae. Never more than 17 leg pairs. 1-3 small ocelli.

Polyxenidae: Usually have ocelli, 8th antennal article shorter than article 7
Lophoproctidae: Lack ocelli, 8th antennal article equal in length or longer than article 7
Worldwide. In Western Hemisphere occurs from southern Canada to Brazil. (2)
Polyxenidae, represented by Polyxenus, occurs throughout the United States (6 spp.). A second family, Lophoproctidae, has been recorded in the Florida Keys and Mexico and may occur in southern Texas (at least 2 spp.). (1)
See Also
May be confused with dermestid beetle larvae
Print References
Eisner, T., Eisner, M. and Deyrup, M. 1996. Millipede defense: use of detachable bristles to entangle ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 93: 10848-19851. (PDF)
Megan Short & Varpu Vahtera (2017) Phylogenetic relationships of millipedes in the subclass Penicillata (Diplopoda) with a key to the genera, Journal of Natural History, 51:41-42, 2443-2461, DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2017.1380241
Works Cited
1.Checklist of the millipeds of North and Middle America
Richard L. Hoffman. 1999. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publications.
2.Centipedes and Millipedes, with an Emphasis on North American Fauna
Rowland M. Shelley. 1999. Emporia State University.