Skip to main content
Go to the Homepage
A yellow-spotted millipede on the move.
A yellow-spotted millipede on the move.

The fantastic yellow-spotted millipedeHarpaphe haydeniana, roams freely through the coast redwood forest. Often found crawling in the duff on the forest floor, H. Haydeniana is multi-legged invertebrate that demands respect.

When it senses danger, this millepede curls up in a ball and releases the sweet almond scent of hydrogen cyanide. It’s a deadly chemical deterrent and is one to watch out for, especially if you are a beetle hoping to catch a quick meal. For people, the threat is pretty low. That said, I still don’t want to make it angry!

Have you smelled cyanide in the redwoods yet? If you have any great photos of this deadly beast, send them to us at Science@SaveTheRedwoods.org.


Tags: ,


About Emily Burns

Emily joined Save the Redwoods League as the Director of Science in 2010 after studying redwood forest ecology for seven years.


Share this Article


Vineyard conversion has become an increasingly significant threat to redwood forests in recent years. Vineyards, Redwoods, and Climate Change

The direct effects of climate change come in many different flavors – shifts in temperature and precipitation will have significant, though yet undetermined, implications for the redwood forest.  The ways in which climate change might indirectly affect the redwoods make … Continued


Peters Creek Old-Growth Forest. Photo by Paolo Vescia Obama’s Budget Calls for More Conservation Funding

There was a bit of good conservation news coming from Washington, DC, last week. President Obama’s budget includes a substantial increase for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding. The LWCF program has had a huge impact on land conservation … Continued


Leave a Reply