|Photos and Text by Steven Kessel 7/26/2013|
This millipede is about 5 inches long and about the width of a pencil. Generally, one never sees these creatures out and about but the exception is after a rain and it did rain heavily yesterday [7/25/2013] over at Sabino Canyon. According to the [Arizona Sonora] Desert Museum, it is a "detrivore" meaning that it lives exclusively on decaying organic material. It doesn't bite but will exude a foul smelling substance if disturbed.
For about a week I'd noticed this small flock of three or four little birds hanging out in the mesquites behind the visitors' center. I'd assumed they were Verdins. Today, one cooperated and gave me a few photographs. It turned out not to be a Verdin, but a Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, a first for me.