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

Subject:  Dead Multicolored Centipede found in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 26, 2014
Yesterday, we wa
lked out onto the patio and saw the Argentine Ants surrounding something on the concrete.  We were surprised to see a small, two inch long, Multicolored Centipede in the genus Scolopendra.  Though Hogue writes about them, we have never in our 34 years in Los Angeles seen one.   Since our garden is kind of wild, we hope more may be lurking under stones and logs.

Dead Multicolored Centipede

Dead Multicolored Centipede

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: 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: 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