Centipedes are not actually insects, they are “Myriopods”. Despite their name, they don’t actually have 100 legs, and the amount of legs they have vary depending on the species. Centipedes are fast moving carnivores, and are very different from millipedes.
However, the two are often classed together. They have a hard exoskeleton and jointed legs. They live on land in moist microhabitats and hide under rocks and leaf litter. Quite often, turning over a large rock will reveal a centipede.
One centipede commonly found in the suburbs is the house centipede, (Scutigera forceps) which is about 2 inches (5 cm) long and has 15 pairs of legs. Some centipedes (Geophilus electricus) glow in the dark.
Centipedes have a flattened, segmented body, long antennae, and many legs (each leg is slightly longer than the one in front of it). Centipedes have from 15 to about 177 segments (but most have about 15).
Each body segment has a pair of legs that stick out from the sides. A member of the genus geophilus has 177 pairs of legs. When a leg is cut off it will regenerate. The body is divided into two parts, the head and a segmented trunk. They breathe through spiracles, holes positioned along the body which is similar to a caterpillar.
If you are about to get a Centipede, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any Centipede.
- Soil, Rocks, Leaves, Peat Moss
- Water bowl
- 50 Pairs of very small running shoes
Suitable For People Aged: 15 & over VENOMOUS
Experience Required: None/care sheet
Feeding Care Time Required: 10 minutes every few days
Maintenance Time Required: 10 mins Per Week
Minimum Space Required: Vivarium
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $3 Per Week
Life Span: (approx) Unknown
Availability: All Year
To read our care sheet, simply click the link above to open it in your browser. However, if you want to download it to your computer for future reference, simply 'right click' on the document and select "Save Target As...". Then simply choose a location (like your desktop) to save. You will need Acrobat to read and print these documents.