Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"
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Subject: bug eating lichen
Location: north east ohio
April 18, 2015 7:40 pm
doing photo-micrograph of lichen and came back to find this little critter eating my subject.
the little guy is maybe 1/64 ” long
location is north east Ohio time is mid April
depth of field is quite shallow with the rig I’m using so i couldn’t get any better angles to show the mouth parts or legs and i didn’t wan to kill it just for a photo.
Signature: LPainne

What's Eating the Lichen????

What’s Eating the Lichen????:  Pincushion Millipede

Dear LPainne,
Your image is beautiful, and we have no idea what this is, except that it looks larval.  We are posting your image and we hope that with the help of our readership, we will be able to provide an identification soon.

Update:  Pincushion Millipede
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash and a confirmation from Christopher Taylor, we now know that this is a Pincushion Millipede or Fuzzy Millipede or Bristly Millipede in the genus
Polyxenus which is pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “Their typical habitats are generally described as litter and bark, also commonly collected from rocks and old walls” and “They are diurnally active, feeding on algal films and lichens, often in warm and dry conditions and direct sunlight.”

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Subject: Mysterious Centipede
Location: Northwest Tennessee/ Henry County/ Springville
March 21, 2015 1:43 pm
Hey there Bugman!
I’m currently doing habitat research in pill bugs for my animal behavior class and came across this little fella during my observations. I’ve never seen a centipede with this coloration around my area. I’m too interested to wait till I get back to college to ask our entomologist. Please help!
Signature: Russ M.


Millipede:  Euryurus leachii

Dear Russ,
This is not a Centipede, but a Millipede which has two pairs of legs on each body segment.  We believe it may be
Euryurus leachii based on this image we found on BugGuide.  The information page on BugGuide states:  “This is Euryurus leachii (Gray), a very colorful representative of the endemic North American family Euryuridae (Polydesmida). There are 2 genera in this family, Auturus & Euryurus, and the species occurring in Indiana is E. leachii. These are among the very few North American millipeds that one can deliberately try to find, because they occur almost exclusively in association with decaying hardwood logs & stumps near water sources ()creeks, seepages, etc.). They are rarely found in just leaf litter and almost never in association with pines. I’ll bet the log they found it under was an oak or another hardwood. (Dr Rowland Shelley).”  There are no reported sightings from Tennessee on BugGuide, but there are sightings from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and nearby Kentucky.

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Subject: Centipede identification
Location: On a beach in Uraquay
February 12, 2015 1:37 am
Hi, My friend who is now (February) in Uraguay has posted a picture of this centipede . Can you identify it? Might it be poisonous? Thanks.
Signature: Paddy (UK)



Dear Paddy,
This beautiful Tropical Centipede from Uruguay is in the order Scolopendromorpha, and some individuals can get quite large.  They are capable of delivering a venomous bite, and there is general information on the dangers of a bite from a member of this order on BugGuide.
  We haven’t the skills necessary to provide you with a species name, but your individual does resemble the Florida Blue Centipede, Hemiscolopendra marginata, that is pictured on BugGuide.

Dear Daniel
Thank you SO much for that prompt and informative response. Donation via your website on its way! As an ex military jungle warfare instructor, creepy crawlies are of great interest to me. Keep up the good work!

Hi again Paddy,
Thanks for your kind words and your generosity.

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Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Cabazon, ca
February 6, 2015 3:42 am
I’m house hunting and have found this bug in the bathroom while viewing. Wondering what type of bug? And if it is harmful? I have small children, will this bug continue to go inside the house with us living inside? Or did it only go because the home is vacant? Thank you
Signature: To anna

Desert Centipede

Desert Centipede

Hi Anna,
This is a Tropical Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha.  We believe it is
Scolopendra polymorpha which is pictured on BugGuide.  Your individual looks young, as they grow to about 4 inches in length.  Though Tropical Centipedes often enter homes, they are not a group that is generally found indoors.  Tropical Centipedes are venomous, and the bite is reported to be quite painful, but unless there is an allergic reaction, the bite is not deadly, though some Tropical Centipedes from tropical areas are considered more dangerous.  Individuals from Texas and Oklahoma, Scolopendra heros, are reported to grow up to 8 inches in length. 

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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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