Multicolored Centipede and Flat-Backed Millipede

Subject: Centipedes?
Location: Southern California
May 16, 2016 6:37 pm
Image #1 was in the hallway at work, in my office in Santa Ana, CA on May 13, 2016 Baby Centipede? Image #2 (deceased) was taken as I entered my weekend retreat in Cherry Valley, CA. About a week earlier. I’m assuming is some type of centipede as well. Just wondering if either one is dangerous?
Signature: Thanks so much!! Betsy

Multicolored Centipede
Multicolored Centipede

Dear Betsy,
The critter you found in your office is a Flat-Backed Millipede in the Order Polydesmida, which is pictured on BugGuide.  The other image from Cherry Valley is a Multicolored Centipede,
Scolopendra polymorpha.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “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.  Contrary to popular belief, the sharp claws on the legs are not poisonous, although the last pair of legs is capable of pinching.”  According to BugGuide, the common names are Tiger Centipede and Common Desert Centipede.

Flat-Backed Millipede
Flat-Backed Millipede

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