The most distinctive feature of both centipedes and also millipedes is that they have many, many legs. Both bugs are arthropods belonging come the subphylum Myriapoda, a name that converts to ‘ten thousands feet.’ yet how countless legs do they have actually exactly, and also why perform they need so many?

Do millipedes have 1000 legs?

The Latin prefix the the name millipede (‘milli’) way ‘thousand’ and also the suffix (‘ped’) translates as ‘foot.’ This has actually led come the popular and also understandable misconception that millipedes have actually 1000 legs. In reality, they don’t have almost everywhere near as many. No known species of millipede have the right to boast 1000 feet, and most common varieties have somewhere between 40 and 400 legs.

You are watching: How many legs does a milipede have

Do centipedes have 100 legs?

The word ‘centipede’ is derived from the Latin native ‘centipeda’ and also literally means ‘100 feet.’ prefer millipedes, however, their surname is not a true point out of their leg number. The number of legs on a centipede different from varieties to species, and each arthropod may have between 15 and 191 bag (or as much as 382 legs in total).

Why do millipedes and centipedes have actually so numerous legs?

Centipedes and also millipedes space both known and named for their numerous legs, and no other well-known arthropod species are nearly as leggy together either of these bugs. However the concerns remains – why execute centipedes and millipedes need so numerous extra feet in the very first place?


The answer is actually an ext to execute with the anatomy of their bodies 보다 their legs. Both arthropods have really long, greatly segmented bodies and also each segment has actually legs attached. In the situation of millipedes, this permits them to curl into a tight, armored coil at indications of danger, and also it allows them come burrow their heads deep into leaf litter or floor when avoiding predators.

Centipedes are an ext aggressive than millipedes and use your many-legged agility to hunt down their prey.

Millipedes vs. Centipedes

Millipedes and also centipedes room both long, segmented, leggy arthropods through a hard exoskeleton and also a tendency to attack damp basements. However, these 2 bugs room far more different native one an additional than they first appear.

The legs of centipedes stick out to either next of your body, vice versa, millipede legs have tendency to suggest downwards. Finally, centipedes always have one odd number of legs.

The behavior of millipedes is also an extremely different from that of centipedes. Millipedes an ext much an ext slowly, and will curl into a tight, protective ball if disturbed. As hunters, centipedes are much faster and also will dart quickly away.


Centipedes and also millipedes both belong come a subphylum that arthropods called Myriapoda, a word meaning ‘ten thousands feet.’ In reality, no critter has anywhere near 1000 legs, permit alone ten thousand.

See more: What Is The Elastic Rebound Hypothesis, Reids Elastic Rebound Theory

The variety of legs on a centipede or millipede depends on the species. Millipedes might have between 40 and 400 legs, and centipedes may have actually up come 382 legs.