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  Centipedes and Millipedes - An Overview

The majority of millipedes are dull in color and are slow-moving, with tough, cylindrical bodies, strong mandibles, and seven-segmented antennae. The first four trunk segments have no legs; the other segments bear two pairs of legs. Although the common name implies that they have 1,000 legs, most have far fewer and none has more than 750. Centipedes are long and usually flat, with a head that bears mouthparts and segmented antennea. the trunk has at least 16 segments, most of which carry a pair of legs, the last being the longest. Usually yellow or brown, the body may be green or red tinted and is covered with fine sensory hairs.


These fairly short centipedes are brown with paler markings. They have 15 pair of very long legs. Those at the rear are much longer than those at thr front. The body is kept straight by rigid overlapping "plates". The round head bears large compound eyes.

  Life Cycle

Females lay one egg at a time--on the ground, in crevices, and among debris--and show no brooding behavior. Newly hatched young have seven pairs of legs and gain a leg-bearing trunk segment at each molt.


Worldwide, year-round in warmer climes and in the North during the summer months. In various habitats, including buildings and caves.


The House Centipede can run at 16 inches per second.

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