Chelodesmid Chondrodesmus cf. riparius poisonous?

  • Hi all,

    Im writing a short article about the 'Ikea-pede' Chondrodesmus cf. riparius. I wonder if it is a poisonous species because of the striking colors. I know from articles that for example some Xystodesmidae species can excrete hydrogen cyanide. Is this also true for Chelodesmid species? Or are these colours just a form of mimicry?


  • Chondrodesmus cf. riparius is a Polydesmid if I'm correct. These are the flat centipede-like looking family of millipedes and they usually produce hydrogen cyanide and a range of other chemicals as a defense mechanism. Contrary to other classes, I believe Polydesmids usually excrete their defensive secretions in gas form instead of liquid.

    When googling Chelodesmid only two pictures came up, one Polydesmid, one Spirobolid.

    Both of 'em are very brightly colored which is a sign of aposematism so they'll probably contain some defensive toxins aswell.

  • Hi Zandastu,

    Thanks. Indeed it is a Polydesmid. I find on the internet that Polydesmida are including all the millipedes 'reported' to produce hydrogen cyanide. That does not mean that they all produce hydrogen cyanide.

    Beside, being brightly colored does not mean automatically that you are also poisonous? It still can be a form of imitating a real poisonous species right?