Desmoxytes purpurosea

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Desmoxytes purpurosea
Desmoxytes purpurosea 01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Diplopoda
Order: Polydesmida
Family: Paradoxosomatidae
Genus: Desmoxytes
Species: D. purpurosea
Binomial name
Desmoxytes purpurosea

The shocking pink dragon millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea) is a spiny and toxic millipede named for its vivid pink color. It was formally described in 2007 from a specimen collected at the Hup Pa Tard limestone cavern in the Uthai Thani Province of Thailand, within the Greater Mekong.[1] Among the largest species of its genus, the adult millipede is approximately 3 cm (1.2 in) long. It lives in the open on leaf litter. It becomes gregarious after rain showers.[1] The millipede has glands that produce hydrogen cyanide to protect it from predators,[2] a fact advertised by its aposematic color. Because it produces cyanide, it smells like almonds.[1]

The shocking pink dragon millipede was named third in the top ten new species list of 2008 by the International Institute for Species Exploration.[3]

Other species of genus Desmoxytes can be brightly colored, sometimes in shades of red, as in Desmoxytes rubra.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Enghoff, Henrik; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak (2007). "The shocking pink dragon millipede, Desmoxytes purpurosea, a colourful new species from Thailand" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1563: 31–36. ISSN 1175-5326.
  2. ^ "Cyanide Millipede, Huge Spider Among New Species". National Geographic Society.
  3. ^ "Top 10 New Species - 2008". International Institute for Species Exploration.

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