How to Sex Pet Millipedes

Learn How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Millipedes

Because millipedes breed easily in captivity, it's a good idea to know the gender of any millipedes you keep together in one terrarium. If you don't want a large number of millipedes to care for, choose millipedes of just one gender, or don't mix males and females together. It's fairly easy to tell the difference, if you know how to sex pet millipedes.

Male millipedes have gonopods in place of their legs, usually on their 7th body segment from the head. The gonopods are modified legs used for transferring the spermatophore to the female. In some millipede species, the gonopods are visible, while in others they are hidden. In either case, you should be able to identify a millipede as male by examining the underside of the 7th segment.

For species in which the male gonopods are visible, you will see two small stumps in place of a pair of legs. If the gonopods are hidden, you should notice a gap where the legs would be, as compared to any other segment on the body. In females, the 7th segment will look just like all the others, with two pairs of legs.

For more on keeping millipedes as pets, read my Guide to Caring for Pet Millipedes.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Hadley, Debbie. "How to Sex Pet Millipedes." ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, Hadley, Debbie. (2020, January 29). How to Sex Pet Millipedes. Retrieved from Hadley, Debbie. "How to Sex Pet Millipedes." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).