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It has been introduced from Portugal to several Atlantic islands as well as to South Africa and Australia. The millipede, Ommatoiulus moreletii, is indigenous to South-Western Europe. It is the Portuguese black millipede that is thought to be the culprit. The black Portuguese millipede was introduced near Port Lincoln in 1953 and again in Bridgewater in 1964 and is now widespread across southern Australia. Millipedes in general are getting a bad reputation from the introduced pests that are invading houses across southern Australia in plague proportions. The Portuguese millipede, Ommatoiulus moreleti (Lucas), was first found in Australia in 1953 and has since spread across southern Australia (Baker 1985, Baker et al. Millipedes are arthropods in the class ‘diplopoda’. They … The Class Diplopoda is divided into three subclasses. Although native millipedes play a useful role in breaking down organic matter in the soil, Portuguese millipedes are a problem when they reach really high numbers which is when they can occasionally damage crops such as … They are seen as an invasive pest in Australia, after being accidentally introduced into the country from their native Portugal. This class contains around 10,000 species, 15 orders and 115 families. Portuguese Millipedes. Portuguese millipedes were accidentally introduced to Australia and have now become pests. Hundreds of small black Portuguese millipedes (Ommatoiulus moreletii) are the likely culprits in a train collision north of Perth, Australia, which injured six passengers. Due to its attraction to lights, it is a well-known urban nuisance, invading homes in large numbers in autumn when it is most active (Baker 1979, … 2013). The Portuguese millipede, Ommatoiulus moreleti (Lucas), was first found in Australia in 1953 and has since spread across southern Australia (Baker 1985, Baker et al. Millipedes are found in most parts of the world from back gardens to Rainforests, on all continents except Antarctica. In Victoria, Australia, train wheels crushing plagues of introduced Portuguese millipedes which were crossing the tracks, caused passenger rail operator V/Line to be penalised more than $700,000 for cancellations and poor punctuality in one quarter of 2001. The species has been introduced to Australia where it is in large numbers and constitutes a severe nuisance. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Diplopoda Order: Julida The black Portuguese millipede, Ommatoiulus moreleti, is a native of Portugal and was accidentally introduced to Australia, first appearing in South Australia in 1953.They have since invaded all the southern mainland states. 2013. They’re most likely black Portuguese millipedes – a pest. The subclass ‘Penicillata’ contains 160 species millipedes … Sometimes they’re so thick, it looks like the ground is wriggling with millipedes.” “But Australia has 600 species of native millipedes. Almost half of Australia's 220 declared noxious weeds (under legislation) were introduced deliberately, one third of these as garden ornamentals. And some are quite beautiful. Portuguese Millipedes get into food, bedding and clothes, stain floors when squashed, stink and destroy backyard veggie gardens. They can reach plague proportions in southern Australia, destroying crops. Management of invasive species Edit The management of invasive species is carried out by individuals, conservation groups, and government agencies. Mary says, ‘The conditions in South Australia are perfect for these exotic and invasive millipedes. 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