(Photo: courtesy of Marg Smith, Tuggerah, New South Wales)
These are not true Caterpillars, and are not even insects.
Millipedes have have segmented bodies with two legs each side per segment. There are upward of 700 species in Australia, ranging from 10 to 100 segments in length. Most species are plain dark brown, but some have stripes or spots.
Their length can be up to 4 cms. When disturbed, they are inclined to curl up in a tight spiral with the head inside.
Millipedes are vegetarian, and can be pests when they attack seedlings, seeds and fruit, but otherwise are quite harmless.
(written 26 November 2008, updated 8 October 2012, 2 April 2014)