Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"
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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: What is this?
Location: California
March 9, 2014 2:35 pm
I found a couple of these in my bathroom and can’t seem to find out what they are. Can you identify this? If you could email me with an answer or any info that would be great. Thanks.
Signature: Tonya

Millipede

Millipede

Dear Tonya,
We believe we have identified your Millipede as
Brachycybe rosea, based on photos posted to BugGuide.

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:  Stinky
February 13, 2014
Location:  Turkey
Hello Daniel,
I sent you a letter a month or so ago about a stinky centipede. you answered my letter immediately, and I am very thankful to you. I found another one in my office and got a picture for you. when touched it expels a very foul odor that stays on my hands for hours and stinks up several rooms. You told me it could be cyanide gas. Thanks again, and here is the picture. Thanks again. Timur – in Turkey

Millipede from Turkey

Millipede from Turkey

Dear Timur,
Thanks for sending in your recent photo and description.  This is a Millipede, not a Centipede.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help identify please
Location: Twin Falls Idaho
February 3, 2014 10:45 pm
Found these shell like things on the carpet in my basement found 3 or 4 but never found any bugs or anything with them yet.
Signature: Colby

Dead Millipede broken in half

Dead Millipede broken in half

Dear Colby,
This looks to us like a dead Millipede that has broken in half.  Millipedes are generally found in damp, dark places, and they are frequently found in basements. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Worm-like pests in potted plant
Location: New York
January 3, 2014 8:28 am
Hi,
I noticed so many worm-like pests in my potted house plants.
Please can you identify them and let me know if they are harmful to the plants or us?
Thanks,
Anil
Signature: Anil Antony

Millipedes in Potted Plants

Millipedes in Potted Plant

Hi Anil,
These are not worms, but rather Millipedes in the class Diplopoda, creatures with two pairs of legs on each body segment.  Millipedes are generally benign creatures.  According to BugGuide:  “Most eat decaying plant material, but a few spp. occasionally can be carnivorous. Some may also occasionally eat living plants.”  We believe they are Flat-Backed Millipedes in the order Polydesmida.  According to BugGuide, they have “18 to 22 body rings” which is what we have counted on the specimens in your photo.  BugGuide also notes of the Flat-Backed Millipedes:  “The largest millipede order, and the only one that produces cyanide as a defense.”  The amount of cyanide that would be released by a single threatened Millipede would not have much of an effect on humans.  They were most likely introduced to the potted plant at the nursery.  Since these millipedes are in indoor plants, you might want to consider controlling them.  We do not provide extermination advice.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination