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Previous events

blue leg centipede - Scolopendra polymorpha

blue leg centipede - Scolopendra polymorpha
Carlsbad, San Diego County, California, USA
December 24, 2004
Found on sidewalk. Bug was about 2.5 inches long.

Boise, ID
Just found one of these awesome creatures under a rock in the desert in Boise Idaho.
Me and my spouse saw a baby lizard go underneath the rock, flipped over the rock and there it was! Such a pretty turquoise color!

Henderson, NV
My mom was moving around furniture in the dining room, and found a centipede that matched the one in the picture. He's pretty cool looking. The little guy was probably living off the cockroaches that seem to have increased in population around our place recently.

blue centipedes CA
um the centipede ive caught is all turquise blue all over seems to be irretable likes to burrow found it in san diego i have caught them befor mine is about 2 inches but the others are about 3 or 4 need help and its scientific name

Henderson, NV
Found one of these crawling across the sidewalk in front of my apartment tonight around 9:00 p.m. It looked exactly like the one in this picture and was approx. four to five inches long. My kids were fascinated and we were glad to identify it online thanks to this website. :)

Yolo County, CA
We just found this centipede running across our kitchen floor! It gave me quite a fright, but now that I know it's native to California and a beneficial predator I'm just going to go outside and release it in my garden. This is the first time I've ever seen this critter and it really is beautiful (just not in my house). Glad there's a picture available to help me identify it!

N. Nevada
My wife found one of these in her father's yard while landscaping. It was found in Silver City, Nevada just outside of Reno. He munched a long-legged house centipede that was found in the same yard and placed in the same jar (broke him in half and consumed the innerds).


Scolopendra polymorpha Wood,
Scolopendra polymorpha Wood, 1861, the only native scolopendrid occurring in California. This appears to be a small, immature individual and is quite greener than usual.

Re: Centipede
It looks like a multi-colored centipede, Scolopendra polymorpha, to me.

S. Polymorpha
Hi David,
Thanks for your note.
I really liked finding this bug and I let him go in my backyard. Is this species native to California? and where can I learn more about it?

I believe the centipede ranges throughout the south-western United States and down into Mexico, and would thereby be native to California.

Also, at this site I found the following information:

" Scolopendra polymorpha This Scolopendra polymorpha is a local Arizona species. Polymorpha is Latin for 'many form' and it lives up to its name. We have seen these entirely yellow, orange, blue, and any gradation in between. In December of 2000 we spotted a baby blue polymorpha with bluish black bars within the Phoenix city limits. We were recently pleased to see a specimen at the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute about seven inches long and about as big around as a finger. We keep these on soil just damp enough to change the color. A bit of sand in the soil mix is ideal. Keep the substrate shallow if you wish to easily view your centipedes. These creatures are voracious predators that inject venom with forelegs which have been modified to function as fangs. They thrive on a diet of crickets or cockroaches that have been fed nutritiously. Humidity is easily supplied by daily misting. Even a very small polymorpha is capable of administering a bite capable of causing sharp discomfort. Pain arising from the bite of larger polymorpha may well be proportionate, and additional effects remain unknown. Handling is therefore NOT recommended. The picture to the left above is one of the low desert forms. Those to the right are high desert forms. The rightmost centipede is coiled around a clutch of eggs. She will continue to hold her young in this manner until dispersal."

Unfortunately, I don't know of many other sites that have information about the species; perhaps a trip to a library would help.


The centipede
i caught a centipede in concord Ca that looks JUST like the one in the picture and hes right next to me trying to get out but anyway, i need to know what they eat because i am going to try feeding it crickets but i want to know what he/she would be eating in the wild.

please reply as soon as you can because its pouring here and i would hate to have him drown.



blue legger
Hi Tah,

No idea what to feed him. I know there are people who keep centipedes as pets so there must be info on the internet. Never have seen the one I put in my backyard. Originally I found it on the sidewalk near some native chapparral plants and just 100 meters from landscaped homes.

Thx anyway
well ill try the crickets and see if it will eat that but ill probly just let him go in my yard, i hope they arent predatory to slender salamanders though. thank you for replying so quickly also.



blue leg centipede
Hey David,
Many thanks for your note. Hopefully my bug will be happy in my yard and I can refind him after it grows a bit. We did not know it was dangerous, maybe the cool weather slowed it down, it seemed like a friendly critter.
Cheers and Happy New Year

blue legged centipede
I live in Boise, Idaho and I have found a blue centipede almost identical to the one in the was about 2-3 inches long and I found it in my house this summer. just wanted to let you know so that in documenting their range you may mention the Northwest as well, I could post the pic I took if anyone wants to see it, but it's not very clear.

bluelegged centipede in nevada
Today in henderson nevada i found my cat playing with a bug in my kitchen. i stopped her and put the bug in a plastic baggy. i researched it and discovered on this website an exact picture of it which is the blue legged centipede. there was one slight difference at the end of its body it only had one of the stinger like things which made it look like a scorpion tail. but after seeing the picture on this site and closer examination of the bug i realize that the cat probably broke the other one off. i am going to take a picture of it but i dont have a way of putting the picture on line at the moment. i also have a pest control service and the guy that comes out to the house gets a bonus for bringing strange and cool bugs back to his office so i am going to give it to him. i am posting this comment because i noticed that in your data for habitat of this centipede nevada was not included. this may be a rare case where the centipede was transported here from california or arizona but either way it was two inches long and appeared to be very healthy until it died in the ziploc bag.

blue legged idaho brother from another mother
Bug guide sent me an email about your centipede.
Yours does look exactly like mine. I have never seen it again after it wandered into my garden. I will keep looking for him and let you know if I find anything.

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