Giant African Millipede 

Archispirostreptus gigas

The giant African millipede, also known as the shongololo, lives up to its name. As the world's largest millipede species, it can grow up to 13 inches long and nearly an inch wide! Despite their impressive size, these gentle giants are decomposers, feasting on decaying plant matter and helping to recycle nutrients in the forest floor. They are an important part of healthy African ecosystems.

Giant African millipedes are shy creatures, typically found in the damp leaf litter of East African forests. They are slow-moving and have a weak bite, so their main defense is to curl up into a ball and emit a foul-smelling liquid if threatened. Interestingly, they can have up to 400 legs, though the exact number varies depending on the individual millipede and its molting stage.

Our Residents

ZooMontana is currently home to five Giant Millipedes. 


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Diplopoda
  • Order: Spirostreptida
  • Family: Spirostreptidae
  • Genus: Archispirostreptus
  • Species: Archispirostreptus gigas

Animal Facts

  • Decomposers: Eat decaying organic material like leaves, fruits or even dead animals.
  • Population: Strong
  • Habitat: Rainforests of subtropical western Africa.
  • Nocturnal: Active during the night.