Colony of Brachycybe
Pollock Pines, CA, USA
Brachycybe millipedes are some of the most beautiful and interesting little creatures on the forest floor. They are almost always pink and live in colonies where they feed on fungi. They are especially interesting and lovable because they are one of the few arthropods which provide extensive parental care to their young. Most interestingly, the male does most of the work. He collects the eggs laid by his mate and carries them around for protection. He also meticulously cleans the eggs of fungal spores and other pathogens. When they finally hatch, the young stay close to their parents and other members of the colony for protection as they feed on fungal fruiting bodies.