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Insect Identification

North American Centipedes

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/20/2014

These intimidating creatures can be downright helpful in keeping other pests at bay.


Centipedes belong to the class of Chilopoda and there are some 3,150 represented throughout the world. The class is further broken down into four orders identified as Scutigeromorpha, Scolopendromorpha, Lithobiomorpha and Geophilomorpha, each differed by varying leg segments and total number of legs. While the word "centipede" itself (spawned from the Latin) translates to "100 feet", Centipedes generally to not follow this fixed total in terms of total number of legs. As such, Centipedes can be found with as few as 30 legs or as many as 100. The most common residential North American species is the House Centipede which can grow to be over an inch in length. Other species can exceed six inches.

There are a total of 2 North American Centipedes in the Insect Identification database. Entries are listed below in alphabetical order.

Cryptopid Centipede
This lighter colored centipede can be found in the typical haunts of most other centipedes: under rocks, dead wood, leaf litt...
House Centipede
House Centipedes are covered with black and yellow to white coloring. Legs appear to surround the body which consists of 15 p...
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