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

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Information about 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


TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#514316
Polyxenus lagurus

Polyxenus lagurus
Wrangell Island, Yunshookuh Loop Campground, Wrangell County, Alaska, USA
May 9, 2011
Size: 2.5 mm
I found this tiny 'bug' crawling in my sifted moss sample while looking for spiders. It moved like a millipede, head and legs millipede-like, but didn't look like any I had ever seen, so I sent these photos to Dr. Derek Sikes, Univ. Alaska, Fairbanks, who forwarded them to Dr. Rowland Shelley, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, who sent the following reply:

"Derek: It is a milliped, a representative of the “other” subclass, Penicillata (one order, Polyxenida), commonly known as “pin-cushion millipeds.” They have soft, uncalcified exoskeletons; the body is covered with tufts of modified setae that Tom Eisner has shown, at least the caudal tufts of setae, are “autotomized” to entangle ants and other predators; and there is no contact between sexes in reproduction. Hence, they are totally unlike the hard-bodied, heavily sclerotized, worm-like millipeds that people are familiar with. This constitutes only the second record of the genus Polyxenus, the order Polyxenida, and the subclass Penicillata from Alaska, the other locality being Haines (See Shelley & Golovatch 2011, fig. ?4). I would identify the species as Polyxenus lagurus (L., 1758), but I’m not really certain, as these are different millipeds, and only a French lady and an Australian lady really known anything significant about them."

Images of this individual: tag all
Polyxenus lagurus Polyxenus lagurus