Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Leggy Bugs--Centipedes and Millipedes

Leggy bugs can mean bugs that have lots of legs, or bugs that have long legs. Animal-kingdom bugs can mean insects (6 legs), arachnids (8 legs), or for me, creepy crawlies with way more legs than I care to count. Let's get to the long-bodied creepy crawlies first. Google is a great starting resource for viewing images (for this article, centipedes and millipedes).


Enchanted Learning shows a diagram and descriptive terms of parts. A more detailed diagram is at Amateur Entomologists' Society. Both of these webpages have good elementary information.


Google's hits for millipede images show some atop hands and other body parts (cringe). For sizes, one image that surprised me greatly showed someone using both hands to hold one. On the other hand (grin), one image shows a millipede on a finger, and another shows one with a penny.

Enchanted Learning shows a diagram and descriptive terms of parts. EL's millipede diagram is much more detailed than for the centipede. Amateur Entomologists' Society's diagram is similar to its centipede one.

The University of Bristol's 'Morphology" webpage has a really detailed image and scholastic explanation of anatomy. (The home page "Diplopoda" provides overview of millipedes.) BTW, "Chilopoda" is the term for centipedes, but U of Bristol doesn't have a special section for it. That is, replacing the URL part "chilopoda" for "diplopod" yields a not-found page.

My section about centipedes is short and the millipedes section only a bit longer. The most interesting information might be contrasts between the two creepy crawlies.

Centipede vs Millipede

A big difference in looks between these bugs is the number of legs per segment. Centipedes have one pair, and millipedes have two pairs. One helpful image with side by side drawings and descriptors is at the "Centipede vs. Millipede" section of "Top 10 Facts About Millipedes"..

In seeing so many Google image hits for millipedes where people handle them, I sensed that centipedes might be less receptive to handling than millipedes. Maybe another reason. Centipedes bite. "Millipedes of Petroglyph" provides a section for differentiating the two animals, and especially warning about the centipede's capability to bite and hurt. For a video featuring someone capturing one of each and explaining differences, view "Millipede vs Centipede!".

Additional sites that contrast these two members of Myriapoda (many-legged) subphylum
For some whimsy, visit Gaming History about "Centipede" and "Millipede". Both sites describe the video games, scoring, and technical details. The Millipede site notes that the game (the successor to Centipede) had been originally called Centipede Deluxe. The Millipede site, besides describing the game play and technical details, includes a trivia section on differences between the two games. For videos about the games, visit YouTube and enter appropriate keywords.

Leggy Bugs articles:


Woody Lemcke said...

Thanks Wanda! We have a lot of small millipedes and some average centipedes around the house but the most impressive were the giant desert centipedes. They sometimes migrate at Big Bend and are quite a sight.

whilldtkwriter said...

YW! I learned a lot looking up info! Spotted some YT vids about drawing them enough to sketch quickly and scan. Next leggy bugs will be caterpillars.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
whilldtkwriter said...

March 28, 2017 at 4:39 AM, Unknown commented:

Thank you for sharing this
I have removed the links to ringtones. Irrelevant to topic. You are free to re-comment, but omit the advertisement. Future comments from you that include advertisements will be wholly removed without further comment by me.

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