Insects & other Arthropods David A Kendall   BSc PhD
Order Chilopoda (Centipedes) Class: Myriapoda

Among the poisonous and most feared arthropods are the Centipedes (also called Scolopenders). They have a narrow extended body consisting of 15 to 150 or more segments, depending on the species and individual, with each segment bearing a pair of legs. The head carries a pair of long, sensitive antennae and, in addition to small chewing mouthparts, a pair of large, strong claw-like structures which close together like tongs just below the head and are equiped with poison glands. Centipedes are carnivorous and use their poisonous head-claws to seize and paralyse their prey. They hunt, mostly at night, for arthropods and other invertebrates such as insects, spiders and worms, although some of the very large tropical species (the so called Giant Centipedes, in some cases up to 25 cm long) may also attack small vertebrates.

Snake Centipede
Haplophilus sp. - Snake Centipede
b. up to 50 mm
House Centipede
Scutigera coleoptrata - House Centipede
b. up to 30 mm (Photo: D. Watling)
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