Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"

Subject:  Please Identify this bug!
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 03/05/2018
Time: 04:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in my apartment
How you want your letter signed:  Nat

House Centipede

Dear Nat,
This House Centipede is a beneficial nocturnal predator that is frequently found in homes.  We hope your released this prisoner outside.

Subject:  Orange/yellow Millipede with green legs?
Geographic location of the bug:  Alamo, CA
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 10:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in our neighborhood creek after a rain with my 3 year old. Despite tireless google image searching I cannot find a millipede or centipede anywhere that looks like this!
How you want your letter signed:  Bri “mom” Schrader


Dear Bri “mom” Schrader,
It appears that this individual has two pairs of legs per body segment, which means it is a Millipede.  Centipedes have a single pair of legs per body segment.  If you found it in the creek, if might be drowned and dead, which may have changed its coloration.  We searched the internet for California Millipedes and we found this interesting article on Myrmecos Blog that profiles a glow in the dark Millipede species,
Motyxia sequoiae, and that states:  “One nocturnal genus in this family, Motyxia, known only from California, does not display conspicuous coloration.  These millipedes do something even more remarkable—they produce a green bioluminescent glow at a dominant wavelength of 500 nm by way of a biological source of light in their exoskeleton.  Scientists have speculated that the emitted light could be a sexual signal to attract mates, or an aposematic warning glow to announce the presence of a cyanide-based chemical defense.”  There are also images on Anotheca so we are relatively confident we have identified your species.  We will be featuring your submission as our Bug of the Month for March 2018.

Thank you for your response! My husband sent my picture, but he got the story a little wrong. My daughter found it under a log near the creek in our yard. It was very much alive. Threw me for a loop. Have never seen a millipede that color!
Thanks again! So cool to know what it is!
Brilynn Schrader

Subject:  Rhysida longipes
Geographic location of the bug:  Miami, Florida
Date: 01/29/2018
Time: 01:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  When visiting relatives in Florida last year, I helped my uncle move old boards out of an unused sandbox. Underneath one board there was a pile of large, greenish centipedes that scattered as they were uncovered. As an invertebrate enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new species of arthropod to observe, capture,  and/or breed, so I had a container handy and was able to capture a 3-4″ specimen that was slower than the rest. There weren’t any containers large enough to house it in safely so I had to use this yellow bucket until I found an appropriate one.
I had hoped to find other centipede species in Florida such as S. viridis or S. longipes, but this one was clearly neither of those. After a bit of research I learned that R. longipes is an adventive species originally native to Africa and Asia that has now colonized Florida and Mexico as well.  I thought I’d send this in so people could properly identify common giant centipedes, as many pictures of R. longipes from Florida are mistakenly identified as Scolopendra and Hemiscolopendra on other sites.
As for the specimen I caught, she is now comfortably living in captivity and has regrown some of the lost antennomeres since these photos were taken.
How you want your letter signed:  lawnshrimp

African Longtail Centipede with Cockroach prey

Dear lawnshrimp,
Thanks for sending your images of the introduced African Longtail Centipede, a name we located on FlickR where it states:  “Though this exotic species has been found on occasion in Florida, all but one incidence was of solitary animals and it has never been considered an established part of the Florida fauna. Late in 2014, while on a scientific collecting trip to south Florida, we came across a large population of this species, which included juveniles through adults, on one of the main Keys. The animals had never been recorded from this area. Later that same evening, we located a large adult just outside of the Everglades National Park, representing an additional locality for this taxon. We wrote up a brief communication for this new, established member of the south Florida ecosystem for the Florida Entomologist which is currently in review.”  We also found your images posted to Arachnoboards.  Whenever we learn of an introduced species into an ecosystem, we are concerned that native species might be displaced due to larger or more aggresive introductions.

African Longtail Centipede with Cockroach prey

Subject:  Fukushima deep sea mutated creature in Orangevale California
Geographic location of the bug:  Orangevale California
Date: 11/27/2017
Time: 06:15 AM EDT
I just need to know if this is a mutated sea creature or something from another dimension coming to steal my soul it looks like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens
How you want your letter signed:  Don’t want to die buy some weird bug I don’t know what it is

House Centipede Carnage

While the humor in your request is amusing, you lived to write about your encounter with this harmless House Centipede and it did not.  Images of House Centipedes that have fallen victim to Unnecessary Carnage are quite common on our site because they seem so frightening to many folks.  House Centipedes are impressive creatures that are very agile on their 15 pairs of legs.  They are nocturnal hunters that will help keep the home free of Cockroaches and other unwanted critters.

Subject:  What Centipede is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pretoria, South Africa
Date: 11/21/2017
Time: 01:11 AM EDT
PLease can you identify what type of Centipede this is?  My puppy is finding them irresistible to catch and kill unfortunately.
How you want your letter signed:  Red legged Centipede


Based on this SA Reptiles posting, and this Arachnoboards posting, we believe this Centipede might be Cormocephalus nitidus.

Subject:  What on earth…….???????
Geographic location of the bug:  Fuerteventura Canary Islands
Date: 11/18/2017
Time: 06:13 PM EDT
Hello. We have just found a lodger in our house! We live in a semi arid desert region and the pic was taken 17.11.17.
How you want your letter signed:  Debbie

House Centipede

Dear Debbie,
This is a primarily nocturnal, predatory House Centipede.  In our opinion, they are harmless, and they will help keep your home free of Cockroaches and other unwanted arthropods.

Thats thats great – I would never harm one but would be happier with less legs!!