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woodlouse Flat-backed Millipedes

Latin name:  Polydesmus sp.

Size:  Up to 25mm

Distribution:  Found throughout most of the U.K.

Months seen:  All year round

Habitat:  Damp, shaded places such as leaf litter and under logs

Food:  Dead plant matter

Special features:  Flat-backed Millipedes get their name from the broad extensions to the body armour giving them a flattened appearance.

There are several similar species, with body colour varying between dull yellow and dark brown.

They are fairly slow-moving creatures.  As a defence mechanism they can secrete almond smelling fluids (cyanide) to repel predators.

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