Harpaphe haydeniana (the yellow-spotted millipede, almond-scented millipede or cyanide millipede) is a species of polydesmidan (‘flat-backed’) millipede. English: Harpaphe haydeniana is a millipede native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. Individuals with similar coloration outside of this. General Description. Harpaphe haydeniana, in the Order. Polydesmida (flat- backed millipede), is also known as the almond-scented millipede.

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Growth occurs more rapidly in leaf litter than contains more plant carbon and nitrogen, or an increased microbial biomass. Chonaphe is quite similar in the same region. West Coast of NA: East to the Sierra Nevada. Harpaphe haydeniana, commonly known as the yellow-spotted millipedealmond-scented millipede or cyanide millipedeis a species of polydesmidan “flat-backed” millipede found in the moist forests along the Pacific coast of North America, from Southeast Alaska to California.

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Millipede – Harpaphe haydeniana –

Apparently this is a defensive manuveur. Oregon State University, Oregon. The genus Harpaphe is in the family Xystodesmidaewhich contains several other species with similar markings, including North American species harpapphe BorariaChonaphePaimokiaHybaphe and Montaphe. Click the contributor’s name for licensing and usage information. Please consider a year-end gift to BugGuide!


Many yaydeniana with bright color patterns secrete a compound containing cyanide. The dose of cyanide that is emitted from the sides of its body is toxic to shrews, predatory beetles, and other insects. Photos from East Carolina Univ. Harpaphe haydeniana is an important part of the forest ecosystembreaking down leaf litterand freeing up its nutrients for other organisms.

Harpaphe haydeniana is a Polydesmoid millipede.

Category:Harpaphe haydeniana – Wikimedia Commons

Harpaphf expectancy is about years. Females have 31 leg pairs whereas males have 30 leg pairs, the seventh segment being modified for formation of gonopods and sperm transfer. Occasional Papers of the Bureau of Entomology. Synonyms and other taxonomic changes.

When mature they can reach a size of 5 cm. Archived from the original on November 4, Harpaphe haydeniana occurs from southeast Alaska south to Monterey County, Californiaas far east as the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Harpaphe haydeniana is an important part of the forest ecosystem here in the Pacific Northwest with its role in regulation of plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Some large, cylindrical, tropical species squirt their defensive secretions up to a half meter feet and can blind chickens and dogs. This behaviour gives rise to the common names “cyanide millipede” and “almond-scented millipede” since cyanide smells of almondsalthough cyanide secretion is not unique to H.


Individuals may live for 2—3 years. Range West Coast of NA: Contributed by Lynette Elliott on 16 April, – 7: The dark coloration with contrasting yellow-tipped keels warn of its ability to exude toxic hydrogen cyanide as a defense.

It is common on the forest floor along the Pacific coast of North America.

The hydrogen haydenlana is therefore a powerful defense mechanism and they are generally avoided by potential predators. Outside of North America, superficially similar species include Anoplodesmus saussurii which has been mistakenly called H.

Harpaphe haydeniana

United States Geological Survey. The difference between males and females is due to one pair of legs on the seventh segment in males being modified to form gonopods used for sperm transfer. Retrieved March 26, Harpaphe haydeniana Scientific classification Kingdom: Bugguide is hosted by: