Centipede Introduction

Centipedes are Arthropods belonging to the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes millipedes and other multi-legged creatures. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures with one pair of legs per body segment.

Centipedes are known to be highly venomous and often inject paralyzing venom. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs (centipede meaning – ‘one hundred legs’) ranging from 30 to 345. Centipedes always have an odd pair of legs, therefore, no centipede has exactly 100 legs. Centipedes are predominantly carnivorous, and their size can range from just a few millimeters to about 30cm(12in).

Keywords to learn

Metameric = Relating to or consisting of several similar segments

Predominantly Mainly, for the most part

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Cyril the Centipede and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

Key Data

  • Order:
    House Centipede. Scutigeromorpha, Amazonian Giant Centipede. Scolopendromorpha.
  • Lifespan:
    Amazonian Giant centipede. 10 years. House Centipede. 1-2 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    Amazonian Giant Centipede. Scolopendra gigantea.  House Centipede. Scutigera Coleoptrata.
  • Mass:
    House Centipede. Not known. Amazonian Giant Centipede. 9lbs.
  • Length:
    House Centipede. 7-10cm(3-4in), Amazonian Giant Centipede. 30cm(12in).
  • Region found:
    House Centipede. Worldwide. Amazonian Giant Centipede. Areas of the Caribbean and South America.
  • Population Status:
    House Centipede. Least Concern. Amazonian Giant Centipede. Unknown.
  • Current population trend:
    House Centipede, Amazonian Giant Centipede. Unknown.
  • Diet:
    House Centipede, Amazonian Giant Centipede. Carnivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    House Centipede. 1-year. Amazonian Giant Centipede. 2 or more years.

The Centipede is a scary looking creature and is a strange and weird creepy crawly, with many different types of species ranging in different shapes and sizes. Now that you know more about the Centipede by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts on the Centipede below. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.


Download questions about the centipede here: Centipede  (answers are on this page)



Centipede Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Giant Centipedes feed on insects, scorpions, and sometimes even animals such as small birds, lizards and mice.
  • # 2. During the day, Centipedes rest under stones, wood and debris.
  • # 3. Centipedes are related to millipedes. They differ from Millipedes in having flattened bodies and only one pair of legs on each body segment (millipedes usually have two pairs of legs per segment).
  • # 4. Besides venom, some species of centipede secrete substances from glands found along their body segments. These secretions are usually non-toxic to humans.
  • # 5. Not many fossil records of centipedes have been found because they have a thin and a light cuticle, which is not easily preserved.

Q&A Corner

# 1. How many pairs of legs per body segment does a centipede have?

# 2. What sizes can a centipede range from?

# 3. What do Giant Centipedes feed on?

# 4. During the day, where do centipedes hide?

# 5. Why are there not many fossils of centipedes?


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