Scientific Names of Common Centipede Species


Researcher claims that there is an estimated amount of 8,000 centipede species around the world and there are only 3,000 of these species that has been named and described. To tell you, scientists keeps on discovering newly evolve species of centipedes every year.

One interesting fact about centipedes is that, they are actually one of the oldest animals on Earth that had undergone numerous form of evolution. Based from the scientific findings of the scientists, they had uncovered several fossils of centipedes dating back for over 400 million years of age. Thus, there were older species of centipedes in the past that went extinct.

Here are the following common type of centipede species today and their scientific names:

1. Scutigera Coleoptrata or Scutigeromorpha (House Centipedes)

- The pesky "house centipedes" that lurks and run around the corners of your house is scientifically known as the "Scutigera Coleoptrata" or "Scutigeromorpha".

A fully grown or matured Scutigeromorpha centipede commonly has a body-length of about 1.5 inch or between 25 to 35 millimeters. But, if you are going to include its legs and antenna, its total length goes around 4 inches in length. Speaking about its legs, an adult centipede of this specie can grow up to 15 pairs of long legs attached to its rigid body. The most interesting aspect about their legs is that, they can sprint at an amazing speed of 0.4 meters per second. Other than their speed, they can also run up on the walls or on the ceiling like spiders.

House Centipede

The most common body-color of a house centipede is "yellowish-grey" composing of "three dorsal stripes" along the length of its body. If you take a closer look, you will also notice that there are dark stripes on its legs.

2. Lithobiomorpha (Stone Centipedes)

- "Lithobiomorpha" is a centipede specie that is generally known as "Stone Centipedes". They are called Stone Centipedes due to their preferred habitat in which they tend to live on places with a lot of stones or rocks around them.

An adult Stone Centipede can grow a total of 15 body segments.

Unlike most other species of centipedes, Stone Centipedes do have short legs and the most strangest part about them is that, they do not have eyes to see their surrounding environment. Instead of eyes, they actually have a single "ocellus" or a group of "ocelli".

As for the legs, Lithobiomorpha consists of separate "tergite" which goes alternate in length. In comparison to the Scutigeromorpha, Stone Centipedes have shorter legs and antennae.

3. Craterostigmomorpha

- "Craterostigmomorpha" is the common type of centipede found in the region of Tasmania and New Zealand. What makes them unique among the other species of centipedes is how their body gets developed which comprises of just one single stage. Their body can actually grow between 12 to 15 segments on their first moult (the process of shedding their old shell or skin).

According to the researchers, Craterostigmomorpha species of centipedes have a relationship to the primitive "Anamorphic" centipedes which was also derived from the "Epimorpha". Due to such ancestry, they are considered as "Platypus" (semi-aquatic type of creatures). Due to this reason, they do represent the last survivors of the "clade" (the evolution of the maternal unification of Craterostigomomorpha with the Epimorpha).

The basis of the researchers about the clade is the presence of the "sternal pores" on the Craterostigmomorpha centipedes. A trait in which the centipede secrets some kind of sticky liquid which can repel predators or parasites away from them. With those pores, the researchers were able to derive an estimate time of their existence which goes around 375 million years ago.

4. Scolopendromorpha (Tropical Centipedes)

- "Scolopendromorpha" is more commonly known as the "Tropical Centipedes".

What makes tropical centipedes interesting above all other species of centipedes is that, they actually have the highest number of body segments. Upon reaching their full maturity, they can develop a total of 21 to 23 body segments. A special kind of this specie called, "Scolopendropsis Duplicata" can develop an impressive number of up to 39 to 43 body segments.

5. Geophilomorpha (Soil Centipedes)

- Centipedes that are often found living under the ground or soil do belong in the specie called "Geophilomorpha". Due to their preferred type of habitat, they are more commonly known as "Soil Centipedes".

Just like the stone centipedes, soil centipedes are also blind or eyeless. But, what really makes them unique are the spiracles on the bearing of their leg segments. These spiracles is often observed between the 3rd to 14th segments of their body that bears the legs particularly at the middle portion.

In addition to their unique spiracles, soil centipedes holds the record of having the largest number of pair of legs which goes around 27 or more.

6. Alipes Grandidieri (Feather Tail Centipede)

- The "Alipes Grandidieri" centipede specie is actually the type of centipede-pet with a huge demand from the Pet Store. Many centipede pet-lovers are desperate to buy one for them.

Some individuals call this type of centipede as the "Feather Tail Centipede". Their wonderful feather-tail is actually the main reason why most insect-pet lovers crave to have to own one of them.

7. Ethmostigmus Trigonopodus (Blue Ring Centipede)

- "Ethmostigmus Trigonopodus" is also generally known as the "Blue Ring Centipede" where they originate in the Tanzania region.

They are called blue ring centipedes it's because of the blue-bands around their legs.

Take note, these centipedes are quite aggressive in nature.

8. Pachymerium Ferrugineum (Earth Centipede)

- "Pachymerium Ferrugineum" centipede specie can be found in the central region of Europe (Iberian Peninsula and Scandinavia) and Asian countries such as Japan and Turkey. They can also be found on African islands such as Azores, Canary Islands and Crete.

They are also called "Earth Centipede" because they love to burrow themselves in the ground.

9. Scolopendra

a. Scolopendra Galapagoensis (Galapagos Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Galapagoensis" is a type of centipede specie where the creature grows a massive body spines. According to some researchers and hobbyists, they claim that this specie can grow at an incredible length of around 10 to 16 inches.

This specie originates from South America.

b. Scolopendra Gigantea (Peruvian Giant Orange Leg Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Gigantea" is also another large specie of centipedes. They can grow at a total length of 10 to 12 inches and they can be found in South America and the Caribbean region.

c. Scolopendra Heros (Giant Red-Headed Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Heros" is a species of centipede that is commonly found in the North region of America (they can also be found in Northern Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas and East Missouri). Residents of this region who are familiar about them call it "Texas Redheaded Centipede" or "Giant Redheaded Centipede".

These centipedes with red-colored head can grow at an average length of 6.5 to 8 inches. And each segments of their body can beat up to 21 to 23 pairs of legs.

d. Scolopendra Morsitans (Red-Headed Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Mortisans" is another specie of centipedes consisting of red colored head. This is the reason why they are called "Red-Headed Centipedes". But aside from their red heads, they posses unique blue-colored ring-leg the reason why they are also called "Tanazanian Blue Ringleg".

e. Scolopendra Polymorpha (Giant Sonoran Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Polymorpha" has many other common names which are "Common Desert Centipede", "Tiger Centipede", "Banded Desert Centipede" or "Sonoran Desert Centipede". They can be found in the Southwestern region of the United States and Northern region of Mexico (Pacific Coast). At any place of the region, this specie of centipedes can dwell on dry grasslands, forest and desert. They often take shelter under rocks, rotting logs or burrow themselves at a suitable environment.

The typical body size of a Scolopendra Polymorpha centipede generally reaches between 4 to 7 inches in length. As for their color, they do come in several varieties of colors which are light-brown, tan and orange.

f. Scolopendra Subspinipes (Vietnamese Centipede)

- "Scolopendra Subspinipes" is more commonly known as the "Vietnamese Centipedes". Other common names include "Chinese Red Head", "Giant Centipede", "Jungle Centipede", "Orange Legged Centipede" and "Red Headed Centipede".

They do propagate in all Tropical and Subtropical Asian countries.

As for their body structure, they can grow at a massive size of up to 20 cm in length. Apart from this, they are also very active and aggressive.

Overall, regardless of which specie does a certain centipede belong there is one thing for that is for sure. Scientists had concluded that centipedes are one among the oldest animals on Earth that existed millions of years ago. This means that they had co-existed with the dinosaurs.