Millipedes and centipedes…you probably know them as those insects with all the legs. What are the real differences between centipedes and millipedes? Do you know? Before we get to the differences, let’s note a few similarities.
Both centipedes and millipedes are considered arthropods. In other words, they are invertebrates that have an exoskeleton and a segmented body. They are related to scorpions, crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. Both of these creatures also extend their body segments by molting.
So, if you see something with lots of legs crawling around, how do know which one it is?
|Known as “hundred leggers”;
typically have less than 31 pairs of legs
|Known as “thousand leggers”
typically have fewer than 100 pairs of legs
|Flattened, elongated, exoskeletal body||Rounded, elongated, exoskeletal body|
|2 long, segmented antennae||2 short, segmented antennae|
|2 modified, venomous legs that is uses to capture and kill prey||No venomous legs|
|Single pair of legs on each trunk segment||2 pairs of legs per segment|
|Uses 2 modified legs on last segment
and 2 modified venomous legs on first segment for defense
|Uses glands to produce a hydrogen cyanide
gas to discourage predators; will also curl up when poked
|Long legs||Short legs|
|Moves quickly||Moves slowly|
|Predator – feeds on insects, spiders, birds, and reptiles||Scavenger and herbivore – feeds on decaying vegetation|
|Male deposits sperm bundles and female finds them and impregnates herself||Male and female join for mating|
|Can bite – can be painful, but not usually fatal||Do not bite|