Fig 1. Scolopendra morsitans, a large (up come 25 cm long) south American centipede the is a close family member of the Amazonian gigantic centipede (Scolopendra gigantea).

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Fig 3. Scolopendra cingulata is an olive-green and orange centipede, common in southern Europe, the grows to around 10 centimeter (4 in); the bite is quite painful. In tropical nations there are much larger types of Scolopendra, the greatest of every being S. Gigantea, which may be 30 centimeter (1 ft) long. These creatures have a really poisonous bite. The females brood your eggs and guard their young for several weeks after castle hatch.


Fig 4. A long-legged centipede: the residence centipede (Scutigera forceps), a member that this group, is discovered in warm countries all end the world. The is around 5 cm (2 in) long and has 15 bag of very long legs. These centipedes have the right to run incredibly fast, and also look rather favor large, many-legged spiders. Lock are helpful in that they food on cockroaches and other insects. In dry regions various other species are fond.


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Fig 5. Slender centipedes: Geophilomorpha. The clinical name the this group method "earth-lovers," and also its members are almost all discovered burrowing in soil. They are an extremely long and also slender, v many quick legs – regularly over a hundreds pairs. Countless of them offer out a luminous liquid if they room irritated are injured. The north African Orya barbarica, displayed here, might reach 17½ cm (7 in).

Centipedes space distinctive rapid moving, predatory arthropods (phylum Arthropoda) that room widely distributed throughout the world. In addition to with the millipedes and also two smaller sized groups, the pauropodans and also the symphylans, they make up the subphylum Myriapoda. Centipedes and also millipedes space alike in having long bodies and also many legs, but there the similarity ends. The most noticeable difference between the two groups lies in the number of legs top top each body segment – centipedes have actually one pair to each segment, millipedes two.

main characteristics

Centipedes often tend to be fairly drab in color, the bulk being some shade that brown and red, back some types have a strong, bright color. Castle vary substantially in length, native a couple of mm come as much as 30 cm (12 in) in the situation of the Amazonian huge centipede.

Despite their name, centipedes deserve to have countless fewer or many more than 100 legs. The more common and familiar kinds have 15 or 20 pairs of legs, although few of the very long, slender kinds have 170–300 pairs; in all situations centipedes have actually an odd number of pairs the legs. They have the right to move rapidly and also some types can be very aggressive.

Centipedes are mostly nocturnal yet there are some diurnal species. They spend their time in moist locations as their exoskeleton lacks a waxy cuticle and also they have the right to lose water swiftly through their skin and run the hazard of dry out.


Centipedes have actually a flat, segmented human body which is split into two parts: the head and also the segmented trunk.

Centipedes have actually a round, planarization head and a pair the antennae. They have a pair the elongated mandibles and also two bag of maxillae, v the first pair the maxillae creating the reduced lip and also bearing quick palps. The very first pair of limbs stretch front from the body and also are recognized as maxillipeds. They end in sharp claws and also include gift glands to aid the centipede death or paralysis its prey.

The trunk is composed of 15 or an ext segments and also each segment has a single pair the legs. The first segment has actually the maxillipeds and also the final two segments are small and do not have actually legs. Every pair of legs are slightly longer than the pair in front of it, this is to ensure the they carry out not overlap and collide as soon as the centipede is moving rapidly. The last segment has a telson and includes the openings the the reproductive organs.

Centipedes usually have a variety of ocelli i m sorry are periodically clustered together to kind compound eyes, but some varieties do no have any kind of eyes at all. Those the do have actually eyes don"t show up to have a great sense that vision; it seems that they can only discern light and dark rather than being capable of true vision. In some species the last pair of legs act in a similar means to antennae, except they face backwards. The organs of Tömösvary are an unusual feeling organ discovered only in some types of centipede. Lock are situated at the base of the antennae and are thought to be offered in sensing vibrations or perhaps offering a feeling of hearing.

Centipedes have a tracheal respiratory tract system and also air is carried into the body with openings called spiracles the are situated on every segment of the body. They have actually digestive glands attached to your mouth parts and their digestive street is a basic tube.

Like every arthropods, centipedes lack an inner skeleton and are covered in a difficult exoskeleton the protects their soft inner organs and also serves together an attachment allude for their muscles.

distribution and also habitat

Centipedes are uncovered throughout the world and in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats from tropical tropical to deserts. They call for their micro-habitat to it is in moist and are often discovered in soil and leaf litter, under stones and deadwood, and inside logs.


In temperate locations centipedes breed throughout spring and also summer, but in tropical areas they breed every year round. In most types of centipede reproduction occurs sexually but there are some varieties where just females occur and reproduction is through parthenogenesis.

Centipedes carry out not blee via direct copulation, instead the masculine produces a spermatophore because that the woman to take it up. In some species the males do a courtship run to encourage females to take up his spermatophore, but in other types they are simply deposited and left for females to find.

Centipedes commonly lay in between 10 and also 60 eggs and in some types the females sheathe the eggs and leave them, however others show some parental care. Some types stay through the eggs, guarding and also cleaning them till they hatch and also other remain with the young centipedes until they are all set to disperse. If a woman is disturbed as soon as she is guarding her eggs she will either abandon them or eat them. The moment for the eggs to develop varies considerably from varieties to species, as does the moment for a youngster to with maturity.

Some varieties of centipede will certainly only have 4–7 pairs of legs when they arise from their eggs and as they grow and molt their exoskeleton they will certainly develop more pairs that legs. They will undertake approximately eight molts prior to they with sexually maturity. In other types all the pairs of legs are developed in the embryonic stages and they carry out not develop an ext legs together they molt.

Centipedes are fairly long lived compared to insects and also some varieties can live because that 5–6 years.

diet and methods of recording prey

Centipedes room generalist predators and also eat a wide range of prey. Castle are mainly carnivorous with a diet that consists of slugs, spiders, earthworms, insects, and also other small animals. Few of the larger types have been recognized to eat reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and birds. They usage their antennae to seek out their food then lock capture and also paralyze it with their poisonous claws referred to as maxillipeds.


Centipedes room preyed ~ above by a large variety the predators such together mongooses, rodents, salamanders, beetles, ants, birds, and snakes.


Centipedes room in the class Chilopoda and within this space arranged into 5 orders: Scutigeromorpha, Lithobiomorpha, Craterostigmomorpha, Scolopendromorpha, and Geophilomorpha. Within this orders are roughly 3,000 described varieties but the is believed there might be as much as 8,000 varieties worldwide.

other amazing facts

The bite of part larger species of centipede can be hazardous come humans. Return the bite is unlikely to it is in fatal, it deserve to be painful and cause fever and swelling. A centipede"s sting can likewise induce anaphylactic shock in those human being who have actually allergies to punishment stings. If a centipede loses among its legs, it can grow another to change it. Some types of centipedes are retained as exotic pets.