Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes"
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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

Subject: Found this in my kids’ bathwater
Location: Arkansas
February 20, 2014 11:11 pm
We live in Arkansas and it’s late winter. We found this dead floating in our children’s bath with them. I just wanted to know what it is and if it is something we should worry about. I can’t seem to get a straight answer because everyone I ask thinks it’s something different.
Signature: Kay

Soil Centipede found in Bath Water!!!

Soil Centipede found in Bath Water!!!

Dear Kay,
This is a Centipede, and it appears it is most likely a Soil Centipede in the order Geophilomorpha.  You can compare your individual to the images posted to BugGuide.  Almost exactly one year ago, we received an identification request that prompted a posting on our site entitled Can Centipedes Really Crawl up you Butt??? once we began doing research.  As we noted in the past, the book Sanitary Entomology:  The Entomology of Disease, Hygiene and Sanitation by William Dwight Pierce indicates that pseudoparasitism by Soil Centipedes is possible in the nasal and alimentary passages of humans.  You might want to consult with your physician on this matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Centipede in Zimbabwe
Location: Harare, Zimbabwe
December 20, 2013 9:44 pm
I found this centipede in my garden. I’ve only been in the country 3 weeks. I’d really love to know what kind this is.
Signature: Anthony

Tropical Centipede

Tropical Centipede

Hi again Anthony,
This is a Tropical Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha, but it might be difficult to determine a species identification.  Large individuals can deliver a painful bite, and the venom may produce a local reaction, so the should be handled with extreme caution.  The markings on this individual are not too dissimilar from the markings on this Namibian Centipede from our archives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fast-running insect
Location: Costa Rica, Alajuela
October 12, 2013 8:57 pm
Firstly, hello! this is my first submission after quite a while of reading the site :); anyway, to the important stuff, today when i was going to wash the dishes like usual, i saw this little fella in the sink trying to get out, no idea how it got there if the first place, and while i dont like bugs as much, im not a fan of killing things unless they are trying to viciously murder me too.
So i just took some pictures to see if you guys can identify it for me, then when i tried capture it with a tiny bag to set it free, as soon as i got it out of the sink it jumped and ran into the freedom of my backyard.
After getting on my laptop to check the pictures(and be surprised of the quality of my crappy phone!) i saw it has a huge pair of teeth or something! hopefully you know if its dangerous.
Thanks from Costa rica!
Signature: Andres

House Centipede

House Centipede

Hi Andres,
This is a House Centipede in the family Scutigeridae.  We have been saying for years that the North American species,
Scutigera coleoptrata, is perfectly harmless.  House Centipedes are proficient nocturnal hunters that will help control undesirable species like Cockroaches.  We have recently conceded that large House Centipedes might be capable of biting humans, though that rarely happens, and the bite would have no serious consequences.  Bug Eric has a wonderful posting on House Centipedes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: House Centipede
Location: Sacramento, CA USA
September 7, 2013 11:58 pm
We took this picture of a house centipede and it is magnificent! Just wanted to share, as I already figured out what it is. Thanks to Jen K who took the picture with her fancy phone! In case the act of saving it degraded the image, here’s a link to the original on the web: https://sphotos-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/1186843_10151602376722478_679037264_n.jpg
PS, As they say, huge fan, first time contributor.
Signature: Patti E

House Centipede

House Centipede

Hi Patti,
Thanks for the compliment.  The resolution of this House Centipede photo is plenty big enough for the internet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination