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millipede in death pose - request for insight - Apheloria virginiensis

millipede in death pose - request for insight - Apheloria virginiensis
Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada
July 2, 2008
Size: 5-6 cm long
Not so much a request for identification but rather a request for insight. These two millipedes, which I believe to be a species of Sigmoria, were found firmly clutching this branch about 4 feet off the ground and quite dead. It reminds me of ants or flies that are infected by a fungi that go up high to die and then the fungi grows out of the insect bodies and disperses their spores. There was no sign of fungi growing out of these creatures - at this time anyway. Does anyone know if this type of thing happens to millipedes? My search on the internet yielded additional pictures of this phenomenon on Bev Wigney's excellent site ( no further insight. Anyone know or care to speculate? Thanks.

Millipede death
It seems this species is subject to drowning on rainy nights. I have many of these, nice and healthy on our property and adjacent woods. But the morning after a decent rain I see dead ones all over on rocks, tree trunks, branches, etc. Usually it's only the adults, though during a hurrican we had last year there were a lot of young ones also.

Interesting observation...
that these dead millipedes appear after rain events. But they are victims of a fungal infection, not drowning.

Wow, I don't know, but if you
Wow, I don't know, but if you still have the millipedes I could take a look at them.

I have been investigating a new species of Rickia (Laboulbeniales) that seems to be infecting some giant millipedes in the US. The fungi are very obscure and tiny and are often on the anterior part of the host (head, mouthparts, legs).

Feel free to contact me at

Moved from Millipedes.

I can't explain the situation
I can't explain the situation, but the banded color pattern shows that the millipedes are Apheloria virginiensis corrugata (Wood) instead of Sigmoria.Rowland Shelley

Thanks for correcting this ID.

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