Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"
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Subject: NZ Bug…
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
January 26, 2015 1:17 am
Hi Daniel, encountered this impressive specimen in the backyard this morning. I’d say the body was approximately 4cm long. I’m in New Zealand and its the height of summer here. Do you know what it is?
Signature: Many thanks, Stephen.

House Centipede

House Centipede

Dear Stephen,
This is a House Centipede, probably
Scutigera coleoptrata, though we believe there are other species found in the Southern Hemisphere.  According to Nature Watch New Zealand:  “S. coleoptrata is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, but it has spread through much of Europe, Asia, North America and South America. It is thought to have first been introduced to the Americas in Mexico and Guatemala and now it reaches north into Canada and south to Argentina. … They have been found in eastern and southern Australia, from Perth to Adelaide, South Australia, to Sydney, New South Wales and in Tasmania. Other countries they have been found in include New Zealand, Japan, as well as South Korea.”

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Subject: scared to find this in house!
Location: Northern California
December 20, 2014 10:02 pm
Hello bugman – was just putting daughter to bed when she saw this crawling down the wall right behind her pillow! She said, “What is that?”
It went fairly easily into the cup and I was able to toss it outside where the spiders go . . . but I am wondering whether it’s a centipede, millipede, or something else? And should I be worried or is it harmless? Sorry if this is repetitive for you but to me this is completely new! Just for info I am in the suburbs of the East San Francisco Bay Area in California.
Thank you so much!
Signature: Dee

Soil Centipede

Soil Centipede

Dear Dee,
This appears to be a Soil Centipede in the order Geophilomorpha, and according to BugGuide they are:  “Slender, rather sluggish eyeless centipedes that have 27 to 191 pairs (the number of leg pairs is always odd) of legs and 14-segmented antennae. They burrow in the substrate in a manner similar to earthworms, by elongating and contracting their bodies.”
  According to MOBugs:  “No need to fear these centipedes, as they will not bite humans, and have no toxic venom to harm us even if they could. They prey on many harmful beetle larvae and help aerate the soil, much like earthworms do. Their rapid movements and subterranean habitat can make them a bit unnerving, but like all insects and their relatives, they have their purpose in the environment, and these guys are fun to watch!”  According to SFGate:  “Soil centipedes (geophilomorpha) are very small and possess many pairs of legs, often exceeding 60 pairs. These centipedes live in the ground, where they prey on subterranean insects. They are completely harmless.”  We don’t want to give the appearance of sensationalism, but we don’t want to discount the possibility of a Soil Centipede seeking shelter in a nasal passage, ear canal or other orifice, which we believe would be a very unlikely situation, however we did uncover some interesting information when we posted this account of a Soil Centipede.

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Subject: Centipede
Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
December 11, 2014 4:03 am
I have found this bug walking around my carpet from my laundry or bedroom… It’s sort of dark brownish in colour, it’s about 2.5 -3 inches… Has a roundish head… for the life of me I can’t narrow down what it is.
Signature: Kaitlin

Giant Centipede

Giant Centipede

Dear Kaitlin,
This is indeed a Giant Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha, but we are uncertain of the species.  According to the Queensland Museum site:  “Centipedes are fast-moving predators and are capable of giving a nasty bite from their poison claws. Centipedes have just one pair of legs per body segment. Curiously, all adult centipedes have an odd number of leg pairs.”

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Subject: Pooped a worm?
Location: Hartland , WI
November 5, 2014 1:52 pm
My husband sent this text to me and I’m waiting for a return call from the doctor. Any idea?
Signature: Freaking out

Centipede in toilet

Soil Centipede in toilet

Dear Freaking out,
Though we have been spared the text from your husband, we are deducing by your subject line that this Soil Centipede was passed during a bowel movement.  Please refer to our extensive posting entitled Can Centipedes really Crawl up your Butt???
  We would be eager to hear what the doctor has to say.

His text was basically he was freaking out because he just pooped that out. The doctor said since it was floating in the water and not mixed in the stool, it couldn’t have come from him, must’ve already been in the toilet.
He has still been having pretty intense stomach pains that come and go. He does see his regular MD for a physical on Tuesday.

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Subject: Not sure what this
Location: North Central Florida
November 2, 2014 6:38 am
I found this in my son’s room. I’m just wondering what it is and is it dangerous. He is 1 and puts everything in his mouth.
Signature: Karen

Possibly Rusty Millipede

Possibly Rusty Millipede

Dear Karen,
This is a Millipede in the class Diplopoda, and it looks like it might be a Rusty Millipede,
Trigoniulus corallinus, which BugGuide states is:  “Non-native. Apparently from Thailand and Myanmar. Also present in the Caribbean.”  BugGuide also states:  “To discourage predators, millipedes coil into a protective spiral, or roll into a defensive ball; many emit poisonous or foul-smelling substances. Many bright-colored/patterned millipedes (image below) secrete a compound containing cyanide.”

Ok great so it is nothing I should be concerned about being poisonous to my son?

To the best of our knowledge, cyanide is considered a poison, though we suspect the quantity released by a Millipede would be more likely to cause any potential predator, including your son, to spit it out immediately because of the foul taste.  We do not want to go on record stating it is harmless.

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Subject: Unidentified Bug
Location: Ecuador
October 20, 2014 5:49 am
I took this picture of a bug in the Amazon, Ecuador.
Can you help to identify it?
Signature: Ian Rowlings

Hi Ian,
This is a Millipede in the class Diplopoda.

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