Shocking Pink Dragon Millipede and Its Incredible Adaptations

In the cool, dark caves of Thailand lives a unique creature called the shocking pink dragon millipede. Unlike its brown relatives, this millipede stands out with its vibrant pink armor and spiky “dragon scales.” Let’s dive into some interesting facts about them!

Shocking Pink Dragon Millipede
Scientific name: Desmoxytes purpurosea
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Diplopoda
Order: Polydesmida
Family: Paradoxosomatidae
Genus: Desmoxytes

Table of Contents

They have a shocking color

The shocking pink dragon millipede is one of the most special species of the millipede family. First discovered in a cave in Thailand back in 2007, the pink dragons got this unique name due to their dragon-scale-like spikes adorning their backs.

Unlike other millipede species with a dark color, this pink dragon millipede has a striking, vivid pink color. Some species have purple color. Their head is brownish while the antenna is black. According to scientists, this color serves as a warning to potential predators, like “Hey, I’m spiny and poisonous, venomous, and dangerous. Don’t eat me or touch me!”

Surprisingly, despite their intimidating appearance, these dragons are relatively small, having a size of only about 3 centimeters in length, although they still rank among the largest species within their genus.

Shocking Pink Dragon Millipede adaptions

Pink Dragon Millipede Habitat

Endemic to Southeast Asia, the pink dragon millipede lives in the lush landscapes of south-eastern China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. Its preferred habitat is within secluded limestone cave systems, where it finds refuge in dark, humid environments. These millipedes are commonly found amidst a wet substrate, comprising decaying wood, soil, and fallen leaves.


Shocking pink dragon millipedes primarily sustain themselves by eating decaying leaves, wood, and various other forms of organic matter undergoing decomposition in their natural habitat.

Shocking Pink Dragon Millipede care

Like most millipedes, pink dragon millipedes curl up to protect themselves from predators. They even look scarier with those pink spines. Belonging to the order Polydesmida, like many other millipedes, these species possess defensive glands that secrete hydrogen cyanide. This substance serves as a potent deterrent to predators by poisoning them upon contact and leaving a lingering scent of almonds on your hands when you handle them.


The reproduction of the shocking pink dragon millipede is similar to that of other millipede species. To know more about millipede life cycle, you can check here. The lifespan of these creatures is still unknown.

Reference: biotaxa


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