Are Millipedes Decomposers?

Millipedes are omnivores that consume both plants and animals. In the wild, they play an important role in the food web as detritivores, breaking down dead plant and animal matter into smaller pieces that can be used by other organisms.

While millipedes are not true decomposers, they do play a key role in the decomposition process. Their diet of dead leaves, wood, roots, and fruits helps to break down these materials into smaller pieces that can be used by bacteria and fungi for decomposition.

Millipedes are also important consumers of live plants. They eat a wide variety of vegetation, including leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and even bark. This feeding helps to keep forest ecosystems healthy by controlling growth and preventing succession from taking over an area.

Where do Millipedes Live?

Millipedes are found in a wide variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. They prefer moist environments and are often found in leaf litter or under rocks and logs. Some millipede species are also capable of climbing far up into (dead) trees.

What do Millipedes eat?

Millipedes are omnivores, meaning they consume both plants and animals. But in the wild, millipedes mostly eat decaying leaves, wood, roots, fruits, and other dead plant matter. They also occasionally eat small insects or other invertebrates.

Millipedes play an important role in decomposition by breaking down organic matter into smaller pieces that can be recycled back into the soil.

They are considered detritivores – a group of feeder including earthworms, some beetles and termites that feed on pieces of organic waste digesting it internally and thereby breaking it down into smaller pieces.

How Do Millipedes Eat?

Millipede mouthparts are designed for chewing rather than sucking. Their diet consists mostly of dead plant matter that they find on the ground; however, they will also consume small insects if given the opportunity. Millipedes use their strong jaws to grind up food before swallowing it whole.

Millipedes, depending on the species, use their strong jaws to shred off any type of living or dead plant material they can find.

As they cannot digest the plant fibers they eat themselves, their gut bacteria play an important role in millipedes digestive system.

Are Millipedes Herbivores or Omnivores?

Millipedes are classified as herbivores because they mostly eat plants. However, one can also argue that some millipedes are omnivores because they also eat dead insects occasionally.

Millipedes are also considered detritivores because they eat dead plants. They do not usually eat living plants or animals.

Is a Millipede a Producer, Consumer or Decomposer?

Millipedes are detritivores which are animal analogues to bacterial decomposers because they help to break down dead plants and other organic matter into simpler substances that can be used by plants.

Millipedes are also consumers because they eat other organisms. Millipedes are herbivores, which means that they primarily eat plants and dead plant material.

Only plants as well as some bacteria and protozoa are producers.

What Type of Consumer is a Millipede?

Millipedes are detritivores, which means that they eat dead plant matter. Detritivores play an important role in the food chain by breaking down complex organic matter into simpler substances that can be used by plants and other organisms.

Millipedes are also considered primary consumers because, like all herbivores, they only eat plants.

Generally, herbivores are primary consumers, omnivores secondary consumers and predators are tertiary consumers.

Are Millipedes Decomposers?

No. They are considered detritivores rather than decomposers. Millipedes do actually decompose the dead or decaying matter that they eat and are therefore not decomposers in a strict sense.

However, they do eat dead organic matter, which means that they are helping the decomposition of organic matter.

The bacteria in the gut of the millipede play a very important role for their digestion and these microorganisms may be considered true decomposers.

Where are Millipedes in the Food Chain?

Millipedes sit at the bottom of the food chain along with earthworms and beetles because they mostly eat dead plant matter. They do not eat much living plants or animals.

Millipedes are located at the 2nd trophic level of the food chain with other larvae and caterpillars.

Millipedes are the first trophic level in the energy pyramid because they are primary consumers. They eat plants, dead plant material, roots and bark.

Are Millipedes Autotrophs or Heterotrophs?

Millipedes are heterotrophs because they need to consume other organisms for their energy and carbon source.

Millipedes are heterotrophs because they eat other living organisms. Practically no animals are autotrophic because animals do not get their energy directly from the sun like plants do.

That is, animals like the millipedes cannot make their own energy!

What Animals Prey on Millipedes?

Millipedes are food for a variety of animals including birds, spiders, beetles, centipedes and ants. Because they are at the bottom of the food chain, the do have quite a lot of enemies!


In this post I have looked into the diet of the millipede and how they are important in the food chain!

Millipedes are often found in gardens and are part of the natural food chain. They are an important part of the ecosystem and are found all around the world.

Millipedes are herbivores, meaning they eat mostly plants but they can also eat animals. They are also consumers because they eat other organisms, and they are detritivores because they eat dead material from plants and animals.

Millipedes are very important for the decomposition of organic matter, because they can eat the plant material and then excrete the nutrients back into the soil.

Lear more about millipedes and other detritivores in this video!

Millipedes are also important for the food chain because they can eat plants and animals, and so they are part of the food chain.

If you are interested in the food chain and how it works, check my previous post on the food chain!