Scientists have discovered a rare new species of millipede, and if this leggy insect wore shoes, it would need to buy over 200 pairs of them.

That’s because the critter has more than 400 legs.

Found in a marble cave in California’s Sequoia National Park, the crawly creature is called Illacme tobini. It comes from the same genus as another millipede; that one is called Illacme plenipes, and one of those insects has been found with an astounding 750 legs.

The new millipede species transfers sperm using four modified legs, which are called gonopods— a term that means “genital legs,” according to William Shear, a professor emeritus of biology at Hampden-Sydney College and coauthor of a new studydescribing the millipede in the journal ZooKeys. (“Millipede mating is complicated!” he said in an email to

This specimen is the only one researchers have found so far, Shear added. “So this species may be very rare—good that it is under the protection of a National Park.”

The new millipede is named after a cave specialist and hydrologist with the National Park Service, Benjamin Tobin.

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