Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"

Subject: Night crawler…….
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
April 13, 2017 3:52 am
I was up at 3 am, on my phone. I felt something move on my arm, and instantly this and my brand new iphone were hurling across the room onto the tile. It must have been stunned because it took it a couple minutes to move so I could find it.
I must be done sleeping for the night because I keep having random creepy crawlie sensations.
Lived in this house 14. May not be 15….
Signature: sleepless in arizona

Stone Centipede

Dear sleepless in Arizona,
Though there isn’t much detail in your image, we can determine this Centipede has 15 pairs of legs, leading us to believe, based on BugGuide, that it is a Stone Centipede. We suspect it accidentally wandered into the house and had not been living there long.

Thank you.  I forgot to mention it was about an inch long.   I had taken the picture before I found your site.
Here is another picture without the flash.
Thank you for identifying it for me.

Subject: Is this really Sigmoria trimaculata?
Location: North Carolina
April 11, 2017 7:27 am
Searching around I found an older letter that had a yellow-legged black millipede in North Carolina (2009/05/03/millipede-3/), but both the letter-writer’s photo and the photos on the Bug Guide page for Sigmoria trimaculata showed yellow markings on the back of the millipede as well (especially the latter!).
The millipede that I found looks completely solid black on the top/back, with only its legs and… leg-plates-joiny-bits?… being yellow. I couldn’t find any Wikipedia page about Sigmoria trimaculata to look up whether this might just be a juvenile, or a subspecies, or something like that — do you know if it is the same species? If so, why is it plain black on top?
Signature: S.

Flatbacked Millipede

Dear S.,
We are generally very reluctant to state a Flatbacked Millipede is a definite species, but your individual looks very much like
Apheloria tigana which is pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “‘Apheloria tigana is the dominant xystodesmid millipede in central North Carolina, particularly the “Triangle” (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill region). Individuals typically have yellow paranota (lateral segmental expansions on the dorsa), a yellow middorsal spot on the anterior margin of the collum or 1st segment, and yellow middorsal spots on the caudalmost 3-5 segments. In central NC south of the Deep/Cape Fear Rivers there is a different and undescribed species with yellow middorsal splotches on essentially every segment.’ – Roland Shelley, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences.”

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for the response and the link! I guess they are the sort of
creature where species identification is generally rather tricky? But
that does look exactly like my fella — much appreciated 🙂

April 14, 2017
(So in the last two days, I’ve been seeing quite a few of these
critters curled up on the sidewalk in the harsh daylight where I’ve
never seen ’em before, seemingly unable to move even when I nudge them
to a grassy area — not at all like the briskly ambulating specimen
that originally caught my eye. It’s a little worrying. The internet
says millipedes might migrate in spring and fall, but it’s pretty much
already summer hereabouts, and my searches keep coming up 90% about
millipede extermination… sigh…)

Alas, that is because there are far more people want to eliminate lower beasts from their lives than those who want to learn about them.


Subject: Worm in pool
Location: Pensacola Florida
April 5, 2017 7:33 am
Im a maintenance guy at a condo and I’ve been having these worm things invading my pools and the local bug man can’t seem to kill it off plz help.
Signature: Coty


Dear Coty,
This is not a Worm.  It is a Millipede, possibly a Greenhouse Millipede,
Oxidus gracilis, and according to BugGuide: “Native to Asia, introduced to North America and found throughout the lower 48 states and southern Canada.”  The problem is most likely with the landscaping as this is not an aquatic species.  It is falling into the pool, not living there.

What would be a good insecticide to help knock them down? I keep all the flower beds and grass around it as clean as possible.

We do not provide extermination advice.

Subject: Sigmoria Trimaculata
Location: Briceville, tn
April 1, 2017 10:03 pm
My husband found this little fellow along a creek bank in Briceville, TN this evening (04/01/2017). Approximately 3″ in length. Am I correct in identifying it as Sigmoria Trimaculata?
Signature: John and April

Flat Backed Millipede

Dear John and April,
Alas, we have not the necessary skills to identify this Flat Backed Millipede to the species level.  It certainly might be
Sigmoria trimaculata (please note the first letter of the second word of the species name is lower case), based on this BugGuide image, but it also looks quite similar to this BugGuide image of the Appalachian Mimic Millipedes in the genus Brachoria.  According to BugGuide, the family Xystodesmidae contains many similar looking species.  You might be correct, but we cannot confirm that for certain.

Subject: name of this Centipede
Location: Malibu, California (inside house)
March 6, 2017 5:07 am
This is not the first time that I’ve seen this type bug inside my house, and I’d like more info.
Signature: Lili

Common Desert Centipede

Dear Lili,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we are confident that this is a Common Desert Centipede or Tiger Centipede,
Scolopendra polymorpha, a species found in many states west of the Mississippi River.

Super thanks for your reply.  But, why is this centipede in my house…do I have something that it likes to eat ??

In our opinion, the Centipedes are just wandering into your house accidentally.  The best remedy is to make sure all cracks and crevices are sealed.  People in California do not have the same weather-proofing concerns as folks who live in colder climates, so there are frequently gaps in doorways and windows.

Subject: What’s this bug?!!!
Location: Virginia
February 26, 2017 3:39 pm
Asking for a frightened friend. Need to assure her, she can come down from the chair.
Signature: Jeffrey Maxim

House Centipede

Dear Jeffrey,
The House Centipede is one of our most frequent identification requests.  Though they are predators and they possess venom, we do not consider them to be a threat to humans.  We believe the advantages they provide by eliminating cockroaches and other unwanted, often nocturnal household pests should exempt them from Unnecessary Carnage.