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Genus Motyxia

Millipede - Motyxia Motyxia sp - Motyxia - female Motyxia sp - Motyxia - female Motyxia eggs - Motyxia Motyxia Motyxia Motyxia
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Myriapoda (Myriapods)
Class Diplopoda (Millipedes)
Order Polydesmida (Flat-backed Millipedes)
Family Xystodesmidae
Tribe Xystocheirini
Genus Motyxia
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Motyxia Chamberlin, 1941(1)
Syn. Amplocheir Chamberlin, 1949, Luminodesmus Loomis & Davenport, 1951
8 species
Southern CA
Species in the genus Motyxia are unique in being the only known bioluminescent millipedes. While all Xystodesmids can fluoresce under ultraviolet light, Motyxia creates its own glow, visible to the naked eye, in what is thought to be a warning signal to nocturnal predators indicating its noxious chemical defenses (Marek et al., 2011).
Print References
Marek, P., Papaj, D., Yeager, J., Molina, S., & Moore, W. (2011). Bioluminescent aposematism in millipedes. Current Biology, 21(18), R680–1 (Link)
Internet References
Finding Glow-in-the-dark-Millipedes. NPR, Science Friday video
Works Cited
1.Checklist of the millipeds of North and Middle America
Richard L. Hoffman. 1999. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publications.