>Literally, "many-legged." According to one system of classification,
Myriapoda is a class of arthropods
containing only centipedes (Chilopoda)
and millipedes (Diplopoda). A significant
point of distinction between these two groups is that whereas centipedes
have a single pair of legs attached to each body segment, millipedes have
two pairs (hence, the name diplopod).
|Orthoporus ornatus. This desert-dwelling
giant millipede is about 8 inches long. Credit: David B. Richman,
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
According to another taxonomic system, the Myriapoda is a subphylum of the
arthropods, including, as well as centipedes and millipedes, pauropods (Pauropoda)
and symphilids (Symphyla).