The information here has been gathered by Oonagh Degenhardt

Diplopoda (Millipedes)


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Myriophora (Millipede Killer)

Myriophora is a genus of parasitic fly in the family Phoridae which includes 53 species.

Myriophora are attracted to the scent of millipede's defensive fluids and will swarm injured millipedes injecting eggs with their needle-like ovipositor. The eggs are inserted at the base of the millipede's antennae, between their head and body segment, in the gaps between the segments on the underbelly, and between the anal segments. Within five days the larvae will finish consuming the millipede and break free to pupate.  


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Arthrophaga myriapodina 

Arthrophaga myriapodina is a species of parasitic fungus in the order Entomophthorales that is native to eastern North America.

Arthrophaga myriapodina is a specilized parasite of Xystodesmidae. Like the majority of species in the order Entomophthorales, Arthrophaga myriapodina infects its host by direct penitration of the cuticle. The fungus causes behavioral changes in the host leading them to climb to a high point (eg up a blade of grass) and stay there until the fungus erupts from the millipede between its segments to release its spores. 

Specialized predators

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Promecognathus is a genus of ground beetle native to the west coast of North America which includes two species, P. crassus and P. laevissimus. 

They are specialized predators of Xystodesmidae (a family of flat backed millipedes)  and have an extreme tolerance to cyanide 7-15x that of other related Carabidae (Ground beetles).  They use their large mandibles to decapitate their prey and eat them segment by segment. 

Larval stage Zarhipis integripennis (Western Banded Glowworm)

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Adult female Zarhipis eating a Tylobolus sp. millipede

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Adult female Phengodes sp. eating a Narceus americanus-annularis complex (Amercian giant milipede)

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 Phengodes sp. eating a milipede

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Adult male Phengodes sp.

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Phengodidae (Railroad worms) is a family of bioluminescent glowworm beetles in the Superfamily Elateroidea which includes fireflies, clickbeetles, and soldier beetles. 

Females in this family appear to be larvaiform (ie adult individuals look like larger versions of the larval stage). Only females are predatory, specializing on millipedes. The males are short lived and likely do not feed. 

Brontostoma colossus feeding on a millipede

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A group of Ectrichodia crux nymphs feeding on a millipede

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Ectrichodiinae (Millipede Assassin Bugs)

Ectrichodiinae is a subfamily of assassin bugs in the family Reduviidae.

Ectrichodiinae are specialized predators of millipedes. They use their sharp proboscis to inject the millipede with a cocktail of venom and digestive fluids and suck out the body contents. Ectrichodiinae are often found predating upon millipedes in large groups and it is speculated they may be communal. Not much research has been published on this subfamily. 

Deltochilum valgum

Deltochilum valgum is a species of dung beetle in the subfamily Scarabaeinae.

Deltochilum valgum are specialized predators of millipedes and have completely abandoned coprophagy while other members of its family and even genus remain coprophagic. The head, hind tibiae and pygidium are modified to assist in feeding. They dispatch their prey by grabbing the millipede using its elongated and curved hind tibiae to grasp the millipede tightly. Once the millipede stops thrashing they will then move into a ventral position and use their clypeus with teeth-like protrutions at the front called clypeal teeth as a lever to decapitate and disarticulate the millipede.

Chilopoda (Centipedes)

Unspecialized predators

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Tantilla (Centipede snakes)

Tantilla is a genus of snakes in the subfamily Colubrinae with 66 species in it.

While Tantilla are not specialized predators of centipedes they are specialized to eat invertebrates and they very commonly predate upon centipedes giving them their name Centipede snake. Tantilla have also been found to consume scorpions, spiders, and other various invertebrates based on mainly gut samples. 

Tantilla are rear-fang venomous but rarely bite and do not have medically significant venom.

Brant P Weary, Kipling W Will, 2020 The millipede-Predation Behavior of Promecognathus and Exceptional Cyanide Tolerance in Promecognathus and Metrius (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Accessed on: 1/13/23

Hodge, Kathie T.; Hajek, Ann E.; Gryganskyi, Andrii (2017). "The first entomophthoralean killing millipedes, Arthrophaga myriapodina n. gen. n. sp., causes climbing before host death". Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.

Michael Forthman and Christiane Weirauch, 2012 Toxic associations: A review of the predatory behaviors of millipede assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Ectrichodiinae)

Trond H. Larsen,* Alejandro Lopera, Adrian Forsyth, and François Génier, 2009 From coprophagy to predation: a dung beetle that kills millipedes