Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"

Subject:  Centapead
Geographic location of the bug:  Cali Colombia
Date: 10/20/2021
Time: 10:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this centapead poison
How you want your letter signed:  Mark

Centipede

Dear Mark,
This is a Bark Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha.  Centipedes are predators that subdue their prey with venomous fangs, and though all Centipedes are venomous, most are not dangerous to humans.  Large Bark Centipedes that reach well in excess of six inches might deliver a rather painful and nasty bite.  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.”

Subject:  Centiped
Geographic location of the bug:  Corfu
Date: 08/24/2021
Time: 06:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What sort of bug is this and can i keep it as a pet ?
How you want your letter signed:  Mr.markus

Mediterranean Banded Centipede

Dear Mr. Markus,
We believe this is a Mediterranean Banded Centipede,
Scolopendra cingulata, a species that is known for much individual variation, but we have located two online images that show individuals with blue legs and an orange head.  One is on Encyclopedia of Life and the other on Shutterstock

Subject:  Crazy Looking Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Pullman  Washington, USA
Date: 08/21/2021
Time: 03:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  This bug ran across my carpet floor at about 12:30 am from seemingly under my couch/side table. Its August here and we just had a big rainstorm yesterday. Also, this bug is pretty fast, its black and white sort of striped and it has lots of legs and like a crazy fan tail thing going on. No idea what this is.
How you want your letter signed:  O.S.

House Centipede

Dear O.S.,
This House Centipede is a shy, nocturnal hunter that has evolved to cohabitate with people in their homes, where they often startle the human inhabitants when they are discovered scuttling around in the dark.

Subject:  Leggy in the mid Atlantic
Geographic location of the bug:  St George’s, Bermuda
Date: 08/13/2021
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dearest Bugman,
I was hoping you could kindly identify this creepy crawler I spotted while in vacation in Bermuda. Caterpillar? Centipede? You know more intel that I could ever hope for.
How you want your letter signed :  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Millipede

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
This is neither a Caterpillar nor a Centipede.  It is a Millipede.  The word Centipede has Latin roots and means 100 legs.  Similarly Millipede is Latin for 1000 legs.  Though the leg count is not accurate regarding the numerical values, the name difference is due to Centipedes having a single pair of legs per body segment while the Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment.  Millipedes do not bite, however, some species can give off a noxious gas that contains cyanide.  You may read about this on Cool Green Science where it states:  “Cyanide is so toxic to most living organisms that it was once thought that cyanide millipedes were running the risk of killing themselves each time released this secretion; that they must close off the openings that they use to breathe in order to survive. But scientists found that the millipedes are immune to cyanide — able to process it and convert it into harmless chemicals.”

mIllipede

Subject:  What is this scary looking thing?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Inglewood,CA
Date: 10/26/2019
Time: 05:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I found this in my bathtub after 1am. It’s big and scary and has a lot of long legs. Seeing it just grossed me out so I drowned it (I think) :/
Thanks,
How you want your letter signed:  Amber

House Centipede

Dear Amber,
This is a nocturnal, predatory House Centipede.  House Centipedes are shy and they will avoid humans.  They do have a mild venom, and a large specimen might bite if carelessly handled, but it is much more likely to flee.

Subject:  Do I need to burn down the house?
Geographic location of the bug:  Simi Valley, CA
Date: 06/22/2019
Time: 01:12 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear all knowing big men-
I found this centipede in the house today and needless to say, pretty freaked out!
We have small children! Are they carnivorous? Poisonous?
Anything I should look for to find their hiding place if there are more? Or do I need to burn down the house?!?
How you want your letter signed:  Freaked out mama!

Multicolored Centipede

Dear Freaked out mama!,
This is a Multicolored Centipede, identified by Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin as being
Scolopendra polymorpha, and on BugGuide called the Common Desert Centipede or Tiger Centipede.  Centipedes are carnivorous and they do have venom.  According to Hogue:  “The bite of this species may be painful.  Although there are no data on the effects of its poison on humans, it is probably harmless.”  Of the order, BugGuide notes:  “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 suspect it accidentally wandered indoors and we do not recommend burning down the house.