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280 days of Urbpandemonium #169

 photo P1030694_zpsw6htylsp.jpg

Most of the animals that live in the soil of New England are native to Europe. When Europeans began taking resources from the New World back home, the ships were heavy with beaver pelts and other valuables. To balance the ships in the harbors, soil would be loaded on board in the European port, then dumped on the shores of the American port. Any millipede, isopod, ground beetle, earthworm, or other soil-dwelling creature that could survive the trip had a good chance of surviving in the new continent's rapidly human-altered landscape.

But not this one! I was surprised to learn that this millipede came from the opposite direction. The greenhouse millipede Oxidus gracilis* is native to Asia, and probably traveled across the Pacific in the root balls of imported plants. Greenhouses are wonderful incubators for all kinds of creatures. This millipede is found virtually everywhere in the United States--this individual was living among it's kind and some European isopods, in the soil and worm castings underneath a trash barrel.

*I'm gonna punt this one folks. What do you think they meant by "Oxidus?" Gracilis means slender.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
weofodthignen
Sep. 7th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
rusted?
buboniclou
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:45 am (UTC)
Oxys "sharp, pungent"?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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