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You are watching: Why do centipedes have so many legs


While centi suggests 100 legs, centipedes have the right to have anywhere from 10 to 300 legs. The exact variety of legs will certainly depend on species, age, body size, and body segments.

Many type of species of centipedes prosper more legs as they get older.

In basic, bigger centipedes have actually even more legs than smaller sized centipedes. You can suppose centipedes to have at least 15 legs, and also the a lot of common species have actually around 40 legs.

Further, the more body segment the centipede has, the even more legs it will certainly have actually.


Centipedes and also millipedes belong to the subphylum of arthropods dubbed ‘Myriapoda.’ Myriapoda is a Greek word that suggests “numerous feet.”

Myriapods have actually the body framework of a head attached to a segmented body via many type of legs.

Both centipedes and millipedes use their segmented bodies to relocate their means into holes, cracks, and crevices.

They wiggle their way right into corners to protect against hazard and also look for shelter.

Since centipedes have segmented bodies, they require many legs to move roughly.


Tright here are many type of species of centipedes and millipedes, many of which are not yet uncovered.

Today researchers have actually found and also classified 3,000 species of centipedes, but they suppose tbelow to be about 8,000 species of centipede in the people.

Likewise, scientists expect tright here to be around 80,000 species of millipedes in the wild.

Both of these specific genus of pets are well-known for having actually many kind of legs. In greek, their subphylum class indicates “numerous feet”.

Centipedes frequently have between 30 and also 100 legs, while millipedes have the right to have actually even more legs than centipedes. Millipedes can have actually between 50 and 250 legs depending upon the species.


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The gigantic centipede commonly has between 50 and also 54 legs. They tend to have actually between 25 and also 27 segments and also one pair of legs per segment.

Compared to the other centipedes on this list, the large centipede is highly carnivorous. It likewise commonly the reason of most mishaps or bites through humans.

The venom of the large centipede is not deadly to human beings yet deserve to reason significant pain and some other skin irritations.

Giant centipedes can flourish to be approximately 12 inches lengthy. They have the right to vary in color yet have the right to have actually dark green, dark brown, light brvery own, and also yellow hues.

They are fairly easy to determine as a result of their big size and ominous walking speed.

One unique attribute is that they exhilittle bit tergite heteronomy. This means that segments 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19 are shorter than the various other segments on their body.


Millipedes and centipedes are often puzzled bereason they are both arthropods with many legs. 

They have the right to be hard to differentiate if you don’t understand what you’re in search of. 

Here are some crucial distinctions in between millipedes and also centipedes.

Segments: Millipedes have actually 2 pairs of legs per segment, and centipedes have one pair of legs per segment.Shape: Millipedes are even more cylindrical and also round approximately their body, while centipedes are flat. Leg Position: Millipede’s legs are positioned directly under their body, while centipedes have actually their legs on the side of their body. Defense Mechanism: Millipedes coil up and also release a smelly secretion as soon as they feel threatened, while centipedes will certainly attempt to bite or run ameans conveniently.Bites: Millipedes don’t bite, while centipedes can bite and are venomous to many pets yet harmless to people.

Many millipedes have actually approximately 300 legs. The precise variety of legs will depend on the certain species similar to centipedes.

Millipedes tend to have even more legs than centipedes because they have 2 legs per segment than a solitary pair of legs per segment.

They also tend to have more legs bereason millipedes have more segments on their body.

Many millipedes have approximately 75 segments, however some species deserve to have actually more than 150 segments.

Tbelow are a few species of millipedes that have 750 legs and also grow slightly larger than various other species of millipedes.


One of the the majority of prevalent insects confused for millipedes or centipedes is the woodlouse.

The woodlouse additionally goes by other names such as snowbug, pillbug, or roly-poly. These insects have 14 legs, are segmented, and also have actually a round body comparable to millipedes.

They are regularly thshould be baby centipedes or millipedes, but they aren’t. This confusion often happened bereason they tend to hide in the exact same places as millipedes and centipedes and also are regularly uncovered hiding under logs, rocks, or beneath the soil together.

Woodlouse aren’t concerned millipedes or centipedes. They are actually land crustaceans that breathe making use of gills.


Spiders don’t look similar to standard centipedes, however they are a prevalent pest that most human being endure.

Their eight legs and fast-moving nature deserve to occasionally cause some confusion.

It’s even more most likely that they are puzzled through home centipedes. You are most likely to discover house spiders and house centipedes hiding in the same places.


Silverfish are another pest that is frequently confused with residence centipedes. 

These insects are reasonably the exact same size, live in the same locations, and also have actually similar colors. 

Silverfish have actually a unique appearance. They have a long elongated teardrop form.

They have actually 6 legs, 2 lengthy antennae, and three rear bristles at the finish of their body. These bristles look equivalent to spikes, but they are not.

They are spanned in light to dark grey scales that look choose armor for fight.

About ¼ inch to ¾ inch longSix legs on the side of their abdomenShiny silver bodiesTwo long antennaThree Rear bristles – one at the facility and also one on each side.

Earwigs are rather simple to identify because they don’t resemble any other species uncovered in houses. In some instances, they deserve to be perplexed through silverfish or residence centipedes yet upon closer inspection, they are quite basic to identify. 

Earwigs have

Flattened bodies Long, bead-favor antenna2 large pincers at the end of their abdomen ¾ of an inch long Redish-brvery own color – abdomen often tends to be a dark red-brown shade. The thorax has a tendency to be a lighter brvery own color. Small heads tfinish to have actually a red-brown color. Earwig nymphs look precisely like adults except they Wing pads in between their thorax and abdomen

Pauropods are exceptionally little insects that resemble centipedes. The biggest distinction is that they are only 0.5 to 1.5mm long. 

Comparable to centipedes they are segmented. Adults generally have 8 to 11 segments. They commonly have actually approximately between 9 and also 11 pairs of legs. 

They also deserve to be mistaken for smaller sized species of centipedes as a result of their equivalent movement, hiding areas, and also speed. 

To tell them apart you can use their size and color to identify them. First, the smallest centipede is around 10mm and also a lot of are approximately 1 to 2 inches lengthy. 

The second is the color. Pauropods are usually white or tan while centipedes are generally dark or light brvery own. 


Forty-two legs are the most widespread variety of legs that a centipede will have.

This is largely because the many extensively spread centipedes in the USA tend to have about 21 to 23 segments.

With one pair of legs per segment, this would certainly leave centipedes through in between 42 and also 46 legs.


No, tbelow are no species of centipede via only six legs. The leastern amount of legs for an adult centipede is 15. For young centipedes, some have the right to have as bit as ten legs but will certainly flourish more legs as they molt.

If you watch a pest via 6 legs, it’s more likely a spider, woodlouse, or most various other common family insects.


No, tbelow is no species of centipede via 100 legs.

The major factor for that it’s physically impossible.

Centipedes have the right to just have actually an odd variety of segments. With each segment having one pair of legs, they deserve to only have actually 98 legs or 102 legs.

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