MrsGuinea's picture

Tulip Bulb Pest

Observed: 27th September 2009 By: MrsGuineaMrsGuinea’s reputation in InvertebratesMrsGuinea’s reputation in Invertebrates
TulipPest 1

I found these small segmented creatures in holes in my tulip bulbs when I was repotting them very late in the season this year. Does anyone know what they are? Did they make the holes or move into them?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture


This is a millipede in family Blaniulidae, and I think Blaniulus guttulatus is the most likely species, although there are a few similar ones. Blaniulus guttulatus is known to be a pest of garden bulbs, although as far as I can find out it does depend on the initial holes being made by some other means (e.g. slug damage) which the millipede then uses to gain access to the bulb. It's also found in some crops e.g. sugar-beet.

There's some information on the web at:

Entomologist and biological recorder

MrsGuinea's picture

Spotted snake millipede

Thank you kitenet. Your link suggested that these millipedes are very sensitive to drought and have brief population bursts when they flourish in heavy soil or damp conditions, which explains perfectly why they were doing so well in my soggy garden in September 2009.

miked's picture

They also sometimes eat our

They also sometimes eat our potatoes on the allotment, one spud can be absolutely crawling with large numbers of these beasties.

moongirl01's picture

My mum has seen dozens of

My mum has seen dozens of spotted snake millipedes in the past whilst digging up artichokes from our garden.