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Diplopods



Snake Lice: Example of a Diplopod

What they are - biological definition
Diplopods are animals of the phylum of arthropods (possessors of articulated legs).

Key features of diplomats
- The habitat of the diplopods is terrestrial. They prefer dark, damp places (rotting logs under rocks) to live in;
- They move slowly;
- have direct development;
- The body has a cylindrical shape and is divided into three main segments: head, thorax and segmented abdomen;
- They are diceros animals, that is, they have a pair of antennas with presence of the tactile hairs;
- Breathing is tracheal (performed by the trachea);
- They have a large number of legs (from 20 to 100), being two pairs in each ring;
- When they feel threatened they wrap the body in a spiral shape;
- Reproduction of diplopods is sexual;
- They are oviparous animals (lay eggs);
- have simple eyes;
- They are herbivorous animals (feed on vegetables) and detritivores (feed on debris of dead plant material).

Examples
- Snake louse (also known as embuá or gongolo).
- Illacme plenipes

Biological Curiosities:
- In the past, diplomaopods and chylopods were part of a single class called myriapods. This name comes from the Greek, where myria means 10,000 and podos means feet. It was an exaggerated reference to the large number of feet these animals have.
- Illacme plenipes is a typical California-based diplomat. This arthropod has an incredible 370 pairs of paws. It is probably the animal with the most paws on the planet.
- There are about 8,000 species (known and described) of diplopods in the world.
- Some species have glands that produce poison and can secrete it as a defense in anyone who poses a threat, including humans.