Household Bugs: Household Bugs -- Do Centipedes Bite?


** Household Bugs **

An authoritative guide to the insects in your house

*Sunday, January 27, 2013*

- Household Bugs -- Do Centipedes Bite? -

Do Centipedes Bite?

Well -- yes. But don't freak out! The centipedes in your house aren't going
to come swarming up on your bed at night and chew you to death (although
that would be pretty cool -- not for you, but for everyone else). Yes,
centipedes can bite. 

This beautiful centipede was photographed in Hawaii, hanging out in
volcanic soil. This tropical specimen is related to the brown centipedes
that you find in your house, but its natural history and living
requirements are a world away. 

This big, freaky centipede was photographed in Oman. Notice the interesting
fake "head," with its split end that a predator might mistake for the head
-- a bite on the tail is generally less fatal to the centipede than a bite
on the head!

These big, wild centipedes are a bit different from the brown, domesticated
centipede that lives in your basement. For one thing, your centipedes take
care of you by eating lots of gross and potentially damaging things like
cockroach eggs (yes, they eat cockroach eggs. Who else does that for you?).
The brown centipede that lives in your basement is known scientifically
as /Scutigera coleoptrata/, and it's one of several similar species. It
has 15 pairs of legs, and before spreading throughout the world was once
endemic to the Mediterranean region. In addition to gobbling up roach eggs,
it also kills and eats spiders and other household bugs.

Yes yes, you say -- all well and good. But does it bite?

Centipedes are venomous -- but in a pretty cool and unique way. Their


do centipedes bite

Centipede - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Centipede **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Centipede (disambiguation).

Temporal range: 418–0Ma
Late Silurian to Recent

/Scolopendra sp./ (Scolopendromorpha: Scolopendridae)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Myriapoda
Class: *Chilopoda*
Latreille, 1817
Orders and Families
* Scutigeromorpha

· Pselliodidae
· Scutigeridae
· Scutigerinidae

* Lithobiomorpha

· Henicopidae
· Lithobiidae

* Craterostigmomorpha

· Craterostigmidae

* Scolopendromorpha

· Cryptopidae
· Scolopendridae
· Scolopocryptopidae

* Geophilomorpha

· Mecistocephalidae
· Neogeophilidae
· Geophilidae
· Linotaeniidae

*Centipedes* (from Latin prefix /centi-/, "hundred", and /pes/, /pedere/,
"foot") are arthropods belonging to the class *Chilopoda* of the subphylum
Myriapoda. They are elongated metameric animals with one pair of legs per
body segment. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of
legs from under 20 to over 300. Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of
legs, e.g. 15 or 17 pairs of legs (30 or 34 legs) but never 16 pairs (32
legs).^[1]^[2] A key trait uniting this group is a pair of venom claws or
*forcipules* formed from a modified first appendage. Centipedes are a
predominantly carnivorous taxon.^[3]^:168

Centipedes normally have a drab coloration combining shades of brown and
red. Cavernicolous (cave-dwelling) and subterranean species may lack
pigmentation and many tropical scolopendromorphs have bright aposematic
colours. Size can range from a few millimetres in the smaller
lithobiomorphs and geophilomorphs to about 30 cm (12 in) in the largest
scolopendromorphs. Centipedes can be found in a wide variety of

Worldwide, there are estimated to be 8,000 species of centipede,^[4] of
which 3,000 have been described. Centipedes have a wide geographical range,
reaching beyond the Arctic Circle.^[3] Centipedes are found


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