Arizona's monsoon storms bring another desert creepy crawler to the surface

Jason Bauer shows Arizona's monsoon storms bring another desert creepy crawler to the surface.

Don't you just love monsoon season? It brings all of our favorite creatures to the surface...

If that ginormous Palo Verde beetle wasn't enough to make your skin crawl -- viewer Jason Bauer shared a video with 12 News featuring another creepy desert dweller that comes out after summer storms.

We shared Jason's video on Facebook, comments ranged from "I sure the heck wouldn't be holding it if I didn't know what it was!" and "Yuck I hate those things" to "its commonly called a NOPE" and "Can you imagine if you have to provide shoes for that little guy."

While several people wondered what the elongated creature could possibly be, many correctly identified it as an millipede.

So although it may look like one, it's definitely not a "nope."

But millipede! What big legs you have

According to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, the desert millipede which can be found in areas toward southern Arizona is most commonly a dark-reddish brown color and spends most of its time underground.

Most grow to be between 4 or 5 inches long, but will continue to grow -- in length and legs -- and shed throughout their lives.

"It's impossible to say how many legs a millipede has without counting," the museum writes.

Creepy, crawly but not dangerous

Don't be alarmed! These leggy arthropod are detritivores meaning they consume "decaying organic material."

They don't even bite, according to the Desert Museum, instead choosing to coil and excrete "foul-tasting" chemicals from its body as a form of defense.

Although you probably don't want to get those chemicals on your skin.

A season for millipedes

Millipedes are nocturnal, the museum writes, and "prefer humid environments, often appearing on roads after soaking summer thunderstorms" or as we know in Arizona, monsoon storms.

They can also live 10 years or more.

Many in the comments said they've seen lots of millipedes on the roads and areas around Florence and San Tan Valley.   

"In San Tan Valley after monsoon season you would see a wall of these coming toward houses," one commenter wrote.

Jason said he captured the video and millipede in Florence around 10 a.m. on Monday. He said he held the millipede for "awhile" and even contemplated keeping it as a pet before letting it back into the fields.

"There were numerous ones crawling around on the edge of the construction area that borders the fields," Jason said. "Probably 50 in a block radius. I caught several more but this was the biggest one."

The biggest he had ever seen, he said.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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