Bay Journal

Creepy Critters

  • By Kathleen Gaskell on October 01, 2007
  • Comments are closed for this article.
Millipede (Gary M. Stolz / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) House centipede  (Wikipedia)

They’re creepy and they’re crawly,

One’s climbing up the wall-y.

The other’s in a ball-y.

Lots o’ legs, what can they be?

Of the 10 facts listed below, which five belong to the house centipede? Which five belong to the millipede?

1. This animal eats a variety of pests: ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders and termites.

2. This animal is a detritivore. It eats decaying plants.

3. This animal wets its food with secretions, then scrapes it into bite-size pieces with its jaws.

4. This animal injects venom into its food through its fangs.

5. This animal has a single pair of legs per body segment (except for the first segment, which has clawlike fangs). It can run very, very fast on flat surfaces and up walls.

6. This animal has two pairs of legs per body segment (except for the first few segments behind the head, which either have no, or only one pair of appendages) and moves very slowly.

7. Typically, this animal has about 15 pairs of legs on a flattened body.

8. Typically, this animal averages 80–40 legs on a cylindrical body.

9. This animal will defend itself by wrapping itself into a tight ball or coil with its outer shell protecting its vulnerable legs inside. It is also a powerful burrower.

This animal has well-developed, faceted eyes.


Centipedes: 1, 4, 5, 7, 10

Millipedes: 2, 3, 6, 8, 9





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About Kathleen Gaskell

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

Read more articles by Kathleen Gaskell


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