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Bark Centidpede (Scolopocryptops sexspinosus)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Bark Centidpede, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Bark Centidpede  
Picture of Bark-Centipede
Picture of Bark-Centipede

Bark Centipedes are noiseless creatures found outside near trees or woodlands, where they canvas tree bark looking for their next meal.

Bark Centipedes are agile, fast-moving arthropods (not insects) that tend to startle people with their appearance. Unlike tubular millipedes, centipedes have flattened segments and this helps them squeeze through narrow spaces. Their bodies are reddish brown and legs are yellow. They have only one pair of legs per segment. Their diet of insects makes the outdoors their natural habitat, but they may occasionally be found inside, especially in outbuildings, basements or cellars. They are mostly active at night.

Bark Centipedes have a fang that injects venom into their insect prey. They are capable of biting humans, too, and may do so if disturbed, injured, or threatened. Picking them up is not recommended. Though the bite is not fatal, it can be quite painful and leave a red and irritated patch of skin around the wound. Young centipedes are smaller, paler versions of adults. They will molt multiple times, shedding their exoskeleton as they grow wider and longer. They may live up to about 5 years.

Bark Centidpede Information

Category: Centipede
Common Name: Bark Centidpede
Scientific Name: Scolopocryptops sexspinosus

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Chilopoda
    Arrow graphic Order: Scolopendromorpha
     Arrow graphic Family: Scolocrytopidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Scolopocryptops
       Arrow graphic Species: sexspinosus

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 25 mm to 50 mm (0.975 inches to 1.95 inches)
Identifying Colors: red, yellow, orange
Additional Descriptors: legs, armor, plates, segmented, fast, curvy, shiny

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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