Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Order Scolopendromorpha - Bark Centipedes

Orange centipede - Cryptops hortensis Centipede but which one? - Hemiscolopendra marginata Scolopocryptops sexspin - Scolopocryptops sexspinosus Centipede - Scolopocryptops spinicaudus Theatops? - Theatops posticus Chilopoda ? - Hemiscolopendra marginata Scolopocryptops sexspinosus? - Scolopocryptops sexspinosus Scolopocryptops spinicaudus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Myriapoda (Myriapods)
Class Chilopoda (Centipedes)
Order Scolopendromorpha (Bark Centipedes)
Numbers
3 family worldwide, all represented in NA; in our area, 27 spp. (incl. 6 introduced) in 9 genera; worldwide, 33 genera and ~600 described (estimated 800) spp.(1)(2)
Identification
21 (Scolopendridae, except Scolopendropsis, and Cryptopidae) or 23 pairs of legs (Scolopocryptopidae)(1)
Range
in warmer regions worldwide; in our area much more diverse towards the south, esp. in states bordering Mexico; two spp. reach Canada (so. ON, BC) and one, so. AK(2)
Food
Predacious
Remarks
They can bite and also pinch with their last pair of legs. Bites may cause intense pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness, and necrosis, and require medical assistance, although there are no really dangerous, deadly centipedes, and no confirmed human fatalities.(1)
Print References
Cloudsley-Thompson J.L. (1958) Spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and mites. (revised ed. 1968). Pegamon, Oxford. 228 pp.
Crabill, R.E., Jr. (1960). A new American genus of cryptopid centipede, with an annotated key to the scolopendromorph genera from American north of Mexico. Proc. of the U. S. Nat. Mus., 111, 1–15. (Full Text)
Shelley R.M. (2002) A synopsis of the North American centipedes of the order Scolopendromorpha (Chilopoda). Virginia Museum of Natural History Memoir 5:1-108. (Order here)