What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

blue green centipede
Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 5:22 PM
I caught this wonderfull little guy in El Dorado Hills California while on a job. I have had him/her for nearly a year and feed it tiny crickets. Just buying more when i notice no more crickets in the cage,
I think it is a giant centipede but have not been able to find one of similar color that should be living in this part of the world.
El Dorado Hills, California, USA

Multicolored Centipede

Multicolored Centipede

Hi Ryan,
Though El Dorado Hills is several hundred miles north of Los Angeles, we believe your beautiful centipede is a Multicolored Centipede, Scolopendra polymorpha.  Here is what Charles Hogue writes in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “This is a fairly large enctipede, attaining a maximum length of 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm).  It varies in color from clear or dark olive yellow to greenish brown; the rear borders of the back plates are mostly dark green.  Practically nothing is known about its biology, other than that its general habitat is the same as for most centipedes – secluded places in contact with logs, rocks or the ground.  The bite of this species may be painful.  Although there are no data on the effects of its poison on humans, it is probably harmless.  Contrary to popular belief, the sharp claws on the legs are not poisonous. although the last pair of legs is capable of pinching.”  BugGuide reports this species from several western states and has numerous photos that look very much like your specimen.


Multicolored Centipede

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: El Dorado Hills, California
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13 Responses to Multicolored Centipede

  1. anttoinette says:

    Its amazing because i was watching a video on my bed .and i caught something colorful crawling from under it and there it was a multicolored centipede ! .i didnt know whether i should be shocked or scared because i dont know much about these insects .i dont even know its identification name ! all i know is its a centipede.so i put it in a small box and let it go faaaar away from my house ,because i am petrified of insects .

  2. Rusty R. says:

    I saw a few similar back in the 60’s around La Sierra, CA but they were all more than 6″ long. One I found was out by Wood Crest near March AFB. I have seen at least one out near Giant rock that was well over 6″. All these were seen when I was a young guy.
    Since then while serving in the jungles of SE Asia I saw some REALLY BIG ones that were mostly black. Having a camera back then was not the most important piece of gear I was toting.

    I hope more of you will have the chance to see some of these amazing and scary critters!

    Rusty Rossey

  3. david verran says:

    We just found one in our home near san diego.. They must be migrating

  4. Zoe says:

    I know this was a while ago. But I just found this in my laundry. I’m from Sydney Australia.

  5. Kristen says:

    We found one in our bathroom here in Las Vegas. He’s only about 1 1/2 inches long but definitely freeked out my kids!

  6. Scott Allred says:

    I was hiking the Jump Creek canyon south of Marsing, Idaho this last Tuesday (4/23/15) and encountered one of these after rolling a rather large rock. I tried to get a picture of it but withdrew into the grass. It was approximately two inches in length and a very bright blue/green. I’m a native Idahoan and haven’t seen one of these before. Is this unusual for Idaho? Thanks.

  7. AussieBloke says:

    G’day we have those centipedes in Tasmania, Australia found one today in a load of wood. Be careful not to get stung/bitten they are poisonous and the pain can last from a few hours to several days. But rarely fatal to humans.

  8. joanie says:

    Just found one of these multicolored centipedes in my kitchen on the counter !!!
    I’m in Gardnerville, NV… never seen one before!

  9. Mandie N says:

    I was just playing with my new puppy in the livingroom and it moved the towel it was laying on and it crawled from under it and she sat on it before I could stop her if it bite her will she be ok WE ALSO live in Rogersville, Alabama

  10. James says:

    I live I Wildomar Ca. I just captured on of these guys! I found him hanging out on a wall in my closet. Not the greatest thing to find late at night! We tried to get him but he ended up hiding in some sheets we had folded in there. Put everything in a trash bag and went looking for him in the am. I don’t know if it was my imagination or what, but I swear the thing hissed at me when I started shaking the sheet he was hiding in. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one of these. And I’d be happy if it were the last….

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