Last Updated July 09, 2007



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Scutigera coleoptrata

House Centipede


This is a common house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. I saw several of them and took this picture 2 days ago while cleaning out a storage area under my house. They were very fast moving and made me jump when I first saw them. Animals like this don't usually bother me too much, but I was already in a heightened state of creepiness because of all the brown recluse spiders I had been seeing. After the photo session, I killed a few of them but a couple got away. I began to regret that a little after reading about their feeding habits, because they eat alot of household pests such as spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish. I have never seen one of these in my living space, so I am not too worried about them bothering us. Apparently they can bite humans and sometimes deliver some venom but the bite is about equivalent to a honey bee sting.

The house centipede, when fully grown, has an average of 17 pairs of long legs, which allow them to run faster than other centipedes, up walls and along ceilings and floors. Young centipedes have four pairs of legs when they are hatched. They gain a new pair with the first molting, and two pairs with every subsequent molting. Its body is yellowish grey or brown and has three dark-colored dorsal stripes running down its length; the legs also have dark stripes. They also have well developed faceted eyes unlike most other centipedes.

Sources: Wikipedia, ADW


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