Wander around here at Earthshine in the summertime, and there’s a chance you’ll run across a giant millipede. A pretty good chance, seeing as we have more than one species.
Big, armored crawlers, up to four inches long, who will curl up in a tight spiral when threatened. Their shell is dark gray, almost metallic looking, and rounded. Or, you might run across one about the same size, but flatter, black with red, or sometimes yellow, stripes down its back.
The scientific name for that one is Apheloria Virginiensis. Around here, people call that kind cherry coke millipedes. Disturb one of these and it might start smelling strangely sweet. Apparently, that’s a chemical defense, a cyanide compound the millipede produces naturally, to discourage bigger critters from chomping down on them. Some people say it smells like cherries, some say it’s more like almonds. Really, it’s something you need to experience for yourself. If you do, you definitely want to avoid touching your eyes, and you probably want to wash your hands after. Oh, and don’t try eating ’em. Other than that, they’re an amazing creature to watch navigate the forest floor, crawling under and over dead leaves on the trail. All those legs, and you never, ever see one trip.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and embark on an unforgettable journey at Earthshine Lodge, nestled in the heart of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. Discover the fascinating world of the Cherry-Coke Millipede and encounter captivating wildlife in its natural habitat. Whether you choose to book a serene room in our Main Lodge or indulge in the cozy elegance of Sunrise Cottage, or simply join us for a day of adventure, our lodge offers an unparalleled experience for nature enthusiasts. Explore the breathtaking landscapes, encounter diverse wildlife, and let the magic of Earthshine Lodge awaken your senses.