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Scolopendrid Centipede (Hemiscolopendra marginata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Scolopendrid Centipede

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Flat and dark Scolopendrid Centipedes are sluggish soil dwellers that occasionally wander indoors.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Scolopendrid Centipedes are commonly found in leaf litter, under wood and stones, or even wandering the ground. They are like other centipedes, having the same flexibility and segmentation. This species has some color variation among individuals. Some are black or a bluish-gray, while other appear more green or yellowish. They move underground like worms, stretching their bodies and contracting them, eating invertebrates they find in the soil. They also move above ground hunting other small insects.

Scolopendrid Centipedes produce venom and they use it to dispatch their prey. They may bite people if handled roughly. These bites are painful, but not life threatening; that said, medical attention may be helpful if symptoms from the bite do not diminish in a few days. If found indoors and live capture is possible, releasing Scolopendrid Centipedes into the garden helps control pest insects.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Chilopoda
      Order: Scolopendromorpha
        Family: Scolopendridae
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          Genus: Hemiscolopendra
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            Species: marginata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hemiscolopendra marginata
Category: Centipede
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 57mm (0.51" to 2.24")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray, yellow, blue, green
Descriptors: segmented, curvy, plate, armor, legs, flat

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 57mm (2.2in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 35mm
Hi: 57mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Scolopendrid Centipede may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Scolopendrid Centipede. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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