Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Atlanta, GA
June 11, 2014 9:29 pm
Hello,
This was on my bed the other night. Can you tell me what it is? Is it posoinous?
Thanks,
Signature: Phil

Centipede

Centipede

Hi PHil,
This is a Centipede in the order  Scolopendromorpha and though it is not deadly, it is venomous and it should be handled with caution as it may produce a painful bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A flying, stick-like insect
Location: Arcata, CA; coastal, near redwoods
May 21, 2014 2:59 pm
Hello, this is my first time asking a question on this site and I do apologize if I am doing this wrong. I saw the strangest flying insect in Arcata, which is off the coast of Northern California, last week during my lunch break. It was a weird experience as I have never seen anything like it. I was at the community center park, specifically sitting on a grass field next to a small wooded area (deciduous), and this weird insect was flying around me for a few minutes. I was unfortunately not able to snap a picture of it before it left, so I will do my best at describing it in detail: It was about 2-2.5 inches in length and very thin. It was segmented and it’s torso looked very similar to that of a stick bug’s. The weird thing is that it’s body was bent like a U, so it’s head and bottom were higher than the middle part of it’s body. It seemed to have many (perhaps 20 or more) long, very thin legs that almost appeared as hairs falling from it’s t orso as it gracefully floated around. It’s head was a bit thicker than it’s body, and it had very thick, long antennae. I could not see it’s wings, as it was moving them rapidly, and it hovered around like a helicopter. It even got a few inches from my face twice, as if observing me. It was so alien and so freaky, I just had to let you guys know, and hopefully you can give me an idea as to what it was.
Thank you so much.
Signature: Nicole

Drone???

Drone???

Dear Nicole,
Please forgive the delay, but we really wanted to carefully craft our response to you.  This does not sound like any living creature that we know about, but it does sound like a hybrid of two adept predators we have represented in our archives: the Mosquito and the House Centipede.
  Mosquitoes are capable of hovering in place when deciding upon which part of the warm, human body part to puncture.  House Centipedes are fast runners that chase after prey.  We definitely would not want to have an encounter a House Centipede on our own scale.  We heard an interesting news story on NPR last week about the newest small Drones that look like insects, and that are so convincing that real insects have tried to mate with them.  Now, we here at WTB? could never imagine ourselves as the masterminds behind surveillance espionage, however, it we were to design a perfect Drone, we might consider morphing two unrelated species that have specific areas of near perfect mobility, in this case, air and ground.  A hybrid drone could fly to a location and then hit the ground running would be worth the research that went into it.  

Thanks for the reply. This is very interesting.
I appreciate the time you have put into investigating my experience with this unknown “bug”.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: please help me name that creature :)
Location: Crimean Peninsula
May 16, 2014 1:30 am
Dear WTB Team,
Could you please help me to identify what is on that picture? I took that soot in 2004 during my summer holidays at Crimean Peninsula (Ukraine). I don`t remember exactly what city I was in, but it was close to the south west of Crimea coast. Unfortunately, this bug was killed by one of my room mates and I couldn`t take a picture of living animal, but you can imagine that we were sleeping and suddenly scream of one of girl ended our sleep. What I was tald after they killed that animal is that it was running very fast.
Thanks in advance,
Signature: Dawid

House Centipede Carnage

House Centipede Carnage

Dear Dawid,
This is a harmless, predatory, nocturnal House Centipede, and we acknowledge that they do run quickly and they are frightening looking.  In an effort to educate the public, we are tagging your submission as Unnecessary Carnage because we believe that once people know that House Centipedes eat creatures like Cockroaches and Bed Bugs, there might be more tolerance about predatory species that are frightening in appearance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge centipede
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
April 25, 2014 1:07 pm
What type of centipede is this? I imagine there are several varieties, depending on geographic location. Thought I would send a photo across.
Location: slightly away from main city. I live in a semi-wild area, so the insects are often larger and more interesting. For example, have found beetles the size of my thumb (I have large hands), in the past, and seen the odd firefly, something one never sees in the city.
I agree, extermination is not the best idea, for the most part. But I confess I find centipedes a little freaky. Am given to understand that the bite is quite nasty. I also have a cat and would rather he not mess about with an insect that could hurt him.
Signature: aspracha

Tropical Centipede

Tropical Centipede

Hi aspracha,
Despite being found in some decidedly untropical locations like Oklahoma, Centipedes in the order Scolopendromorpha, like your individual, are commonly called Tropical Centipedes according to BugGuide.  Yours is a little one, and some individuals found in jungle locations are considerably larger.  BugGuide also states:  “They can bite and also pinch with their last pair of legs. Bites may cause intense pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness, and necrosis, and require medical assistance, although there are no really dangerous, deadly centipedes, and no confirmed human fatalities.”  Here is one of the more amusing letters from our archives.

Tropical Centipede

Tropical Centipede

We hope one of our more knowledgeable readers can supply a species name.  Much as we are trying to understand your fears and your knowledge of the painfulness and side effects of the bite, we feel we need to tag your letter as unnecessary carnage.  Centipedes play a very important role in the food chain and we hate seeing them exterminated because an encounter between a human and a tropical centipede can result in some unpleasantness.

Tropical Centipede

Tropical Centipede

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Many legs
Location: Southern California
April 10, 2014 12:07 pm
Taken yesterday in Southern California. So many legs, but not a spider. What the heck is this?
Signature: Kathy

House Centipede

House Centipede

Hi Kathy,
Though it does have many legs, there are also quite a few missing legs on this harmless, predatory House Centipede, that will help keep your house free of Cockroaches and other unwanted, nocturnal wanderers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant house centipede thing, a foot long.
Location: Hong kong
March 24, 2014 8:24 pm
This insect was found in the school playground this morning. I did some research and it looks like a house centipede, but it only has 14 legs, 7 pairs. Also it is massive. From antenna to antenna is about 26 cm, and the body is about 8 cm, as you can see in the pic. It is march, and it seems like the winter has just broken and spring weather has come out. It was dead, but it was still occasionally twitching. Is it dangerous? Are there going to be more?
Signature: Justin

Giant "House" Centipede

Giant “House” Centipede

Dear Justin,
In our opinion, this is a member of the order Scutigeromorpha, commonly called the House Centipedes, though we cannot say for certain if this is a species that typically inhabits homes.  By North American standards, it is huge, but we don’t know if this individual’s size is unusual in Hong Kong.  There is another member of the order from Hong Kong represented online with the same image on several websites, including FlickR, and it is being called a Cave Centipede.  We counted 14 pairs of legs on your photo, and the one pair of antennae are on the left side of your image.  The appendages on the right side of the image are the final pair of really long legs.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults possess 15 pairs of very long legs that become progressively longer caudally.”  We imagine that large House Centipedes might bite a person, and though common domestic species are not considered dangerous, we cannot say for certain that your individual is harmless.  We cannot predict if you will encounter more.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information on the Hong Kong Scutigeromorphs.

Thank you for the information clarification about this insect, it really baffled everyone i asked.
Sorry about the amount of legs I said, that was a mistake.
Justin H

Actually, we would like to make another correction.  Centipedes are NOT insects.  They are classified with Insects in the phyllum Arthropoda.  Insects have three pairs of legs.

Giant "House" Centipede

Giant “House” Centipede

A related request, we surmise
Subject: Bug In my school can you help??
Location: Hong Kong
March 24, 2014 8:22 pm
Hey there was a centipede in my schools sience room 24cm long, and I don’t have a pitcher but I can try to get u one I think that is house centipede but I’m not sure what it is I have looked all over the web and that’s the only one that I could find so my friend said that u could help, I need to know what it is can u help.
Signature: Name

Dear Name,
Please look at this related posting.

Update:  April 7, 2014
We just received numerous comments from Greg Pelka who graciously identified many of our Centipedes.  He believes this is a
Thereuopoda species and we found a few very impressive images on the Magigugu website.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination