White-legged Snake Millipede

Tachypodoiulus niger

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. White-legged Snake Millipede

About

Millipedes are very long, many-segmented invertebrates that live in the soil, under rocks or under the bark of trees. They are vegetarians, eating mildew and decaying vegetation, and perform a useful nutrient-recycling function in various habitats. The most familiar millipedes are the black, cylindrical Tachypodoiulus species, such as the White-legged Snake Millipede, which can be found under rocks in the garden.

How to identify

The White-legged Snake Millipede has a shiny black, long cylindrical body and contrasting white legs. Centipedes have one pair of legs per segment of their body, whereas millipedes have two. The White-legged Snake Millipede has about 100 legs. There are many millipede species in the UK, which can be difficult to tell apart.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Many of our commonly overlooked insects are actually important nutrient-recyclers in the habitats they live in. Minibeasts, such as millipedes, can be encouraged into the garden by the provision of logs, stone piles and compost heaps for them to hide, feed and breed in. In turn, other species will be attracted to the garden, as minibeasts are a food source for many animals, including mammals, birds and amphibians, providing a vital link in the food chain. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
White-legged Snake Millipede
Latin name
Tachypodoiulus niger
Category
Invertebrates
Statistics
Length: up to 6cm
Conservation status
Common.