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

Subject: Scutigera coleoptrata
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
November 9, 2012 11:09 pm
Dear bugman,
My kids found little Silvio Berlusconi (on the left) in our house and got him into a jar. Centipedes give me the willies, but I know in my head they are good guys/gals so I have been getting to know him. Then my neighbor caught a really big one in her house and gave him to me. I named the big one Lady Gaga. Amazing things – they groom themselves like dogs or cats, one limb at a time and then the antennae. Cute little faces too. This is my way of trying to get over my anxiety; get to know the ”enemy” and find out they’re not the enemy? Must be some evolutionary throwback in the genes that really frightens me badly when I see these things. Anyway, maybe readers will be encouraged to explore, face fears, learn new things. :)
Signature: Ann Graf

House Centipedes

Hi Ann,
Thanks for sending us your photos and observations of your captive “pet” House Centipedes.  We are thrilled to learn that you are coping with your fears in a positive manner, and for your curiosity and efforts to educate yourself, we are awarding you with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

I am honored. Thank you!
Ann Graf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Branson West, MO
September 24, 2012 11:47 pm
This bug was very big and looked like it had a very hard shell… I’ve never see one but it is very colorful….
Signature: GrandPaula

Giant Red Headed Centipede

Dear GrandPaula,
This is a Giant Red Headed Centipede,
Scolopendra heros, and we were surprised to get your report from Missouri, which we thought was north of the typical range.  Most of our reports are from Oklahoma and Texas.  Bugguide does have previous reports from Missouri.  The Giant Red Headed Centipede is a venomous creature, and though it is not generally considered dangerous, the bite is reported to be quite painful.  BugGuide does have this interesting information on the bite of Centipedes in the genus Scolopendra.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: House Centipede food chain
Location: near Madison, WI
September 2, 2012 2:39 am
Something slithery and oddly shaped caught my eye this evening. It turned out to be a large house centipede dragging a moth across our shed wall. I thought you might want a photo for your food chain section.
Signature: Sherrán

House Centipede eats Moth

Dear Sherrán,
Your Food Chain image of a House Centipede eating a Moth is an excellent addition to our website.  We are always happy to receive photos of living House Centipedes as they are so frequently the subject of Unnecessary Carnage images.  We also like to lobby for the preservation of the somewhat frightening House Centipede within homes as they help to eliminate unwanted nocturnal foraging insects like cockroaches.  We have discovered that House Centipedes will often come to a light source at night to feast on the other insects that are attracted to the lights.

Thanks very much.   I’m delighted to be able to contribute to such a great website.
I have a strict no-kill policy at my house, so you may rest assured that no house centipedes (or other bugs) have been harmed here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Requesting Postive ID
Location: Kenya, Rift Valley
August 20, 2012 2:38 pm
Hello, this guy actually fell from my ceiling missing my shoulder by about 5”. Its winter here in Kenya. I suspect it’s an Amazonian centipede, but what do I know?
Thanks so much,
Signature: J. Tinsman

Flag Tailed Centipede

Dear J. Tinsman,
This is a Tropical Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha.  Beyond that, we cannot say much without doing some research except we would bet it is native to Kenya and not Amazonian.  Those terminal legs are quite impressive.  With regards to the order, according to BugGuide:  “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.”  We located an Arachnophiles forum and found a very similar looking Centipede identified as  
Alipes sp. and containing this information:  “Adult female, around 4″ long. I think this can be a Alipes grandidieri (possibly a A. g. integer) but I am not sure. Very cool species however! They can make a ratteling/hissing sound with their terminal legs almost like a rattle snake. This girl hissed at me twice when I poked her to get out in her new home.”  The German language Fatal Technology website has a similar photo, but we do not read German and we do not recognize any words that look like the country where it might have originated.  The species is called the Flag Tailed Centipede on Flickr, but again, no country of origin.  Exotic Pets indicates:  “The Fan Tailed, also known as Flag Tailed Centipede inhabits areas of Africa like Tanzania and Uganda.”  We hit the jackpot with the Exotic Pet Shop care sheet that had this information:  “The Flag tail centipede is a five inch long slate grey species with red or yellow legs, the last pair of legs are modified with flag – like appendages that as yet have an unknown purpose, and they are a semi communal species that has the ability to hiss when threatened. Unlike most other centipede species it is not as aggressive, but it still has a powerful bite.  They hail from forest regions in Western Africa where they can be found under logs and behind bark during the day, emerging at night to hunt for anything small enough to overpower, including spiders, scorpions and other centipedes.   Females guard the eggs until they hatch, at which point the young are independent and disperse immediately. The females keep the eggs clean and free from mould during the incubation and will not feed themselves until the eggs hatch.”  

Thank you so much for getting back to me, so cool!  Did you see the caterpillar I sent you a few days ago, same e-mail address?
J. Tinsman

We were away from the office when this email arrived and we have not even put a dent in all the requests that arrived during our absence.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider from Serbia
Location: Serbia, Tara mountain.
August 13, 2012 2:34 pm
these pictures of spider were taken in Serbia, Tara mountain ( ) near Lake Zaovine.
Signature: Milosh

Harvestman scavenges dead Millipede

Hi Milosh,
You did not provide much background on this photograph, so we will speculate.  This is not a Spider.  It is a Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs in the Arachnid order Opiliones.  Harvestmen are scavengers that will eat dead creatures as well as plant material.  It appears the Millipede in this photo was a casualty of some accident and the Harvestman appears to be feeding upon the corpse.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This Guy Looks Like A Biter
Location: Venice, CA
April 27, 2012 8:09 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this half-pinkey sized friend in my parking garage. Looks like some type of centipede with nasty looking pincers. I’m not sure what type, nor have I have ever seen one quite like it around here before. I made sure he scurried over to a drain to avoid being crunched. Thanks for your help in identifying this prehistoric looking beauty!
Signature: Todd

Stone Centipede

Hi Todd,
We believe this is a Stone Centipede in the order Lithobiomorpha based on counting the legs on your individual which concurs with this description on BugGuide:  “Adults have 15 pairs of legs and 18 body segments.”  Centipedes have venom and a bite might produce a reaction. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination