Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes"
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

Subject: Putting Hercules on the map!
Location: Howard County, Maryland
July 14, 2013 5:01 am
Over two years ago, we came across this beetle sitting under the car tire in the driveway. He was very mellow and interesting. His feet felt like Velcro and could cling to ANYTHING!!
We let him go in the backyard and haven’t seen another one since. 🙁
Thanks for this website! I came searching for centipedes in your gut (and think I need to call my doctor tomorrow) and found the Hercules Beetle as well.
Signature: Buggy in MD

Male Eastern Hercules Beetle

Male Eastern Hercules Beetle

Dear Buggy in MD,
Though your photo is several years old, it is quite timely since we have been getting reports of Eastern Hercules Beetles for the past few weeks.  We are sorry to hear about the Centipede in your gut.  When we first ran that posting, we were a bit amazed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Just Saying Thank You!
Website: lhexperience.blogspot.com
April 29, 2013 12:02 pm
Dear WTB,
I found your website back in 2008/2009 and have been revisiting it pretty often ever since. I have never had anything that I wanted identified, a few times I did have a question but I was able to find it myself by looking through the archives first. I really enjoy reading it just for fun. I am not all that very interested in bugs really but I just really like this site here. Thank you for making it such fun to browse through! I always come here first whenever I want to know something about bugs. Today I discovered centipedes in my garden and I was worried they were bad. I looked around and discovered that there are quite a few different kinds of centipedes!
Thanks again!
Signature: Elise

House Centipede Eats Cricket

House Centipede Eats Cricket

Dear Elise,
Thank you for the sweet message.  We love getting fanmail.  It really made our day.  We try to make the site entertaining and fun.  Though we strive for accuracy with identifications, we are more generalists that are attempting to promote an appreciation of the lower beasts in an effort to help folks understand the interconnectivity of all life forms on this fragile planet.  We are illustrating this posting with a photo from our archives of the much maligned and misunderstood House Centipede, a beneficial predator that will keep the house rid of other unwanted creatures like cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of Centipede is this?
Location: 15 miles east of Tecate Mexico, in Baja Norte
March 8, 2013 10:01 pm
Can you tell me what kind of Centipede this is. I saw several of them over the course of the day.
Found in under a Rock in Sage Habitat/w Rock. About 15 miles east of Tecate Mexico, in Baja Norte.
Please let me know if you nee more info.
Thank You In Advance.
Brian
Signature: Any

Multicolored Centipede

Multicolored Centipede

Dear Brian,
We believe this is either a Multicolored Centipede,
Scolopendra polymorpha, or a closely related species.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “w. half of the US north to SD-se.MT-e.OR; Mexico.”  The bite is rumored to be quite painful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination