Entomology (Study of Bugs)/cenitpede


Good day,
      I am from India.I am sending this mail regarding an incidence around four years back.I was walking along a road at around 9:30 p.m,a few women were walking ahead of me.Suddenly they started screaming and when I looked ahead first I thought that I saw a small snake.The thing passed by me within a 3-4 feet and then I saw that it was a centipede and its walking style made me confuse it for a snake. It was not very long but quite thick which gave it an appereance of a snake. After that I never saw such a big one.Are you aware of any species in India or was it an individual which had overgrown?The area where I saw this is occupied with scrubs and across the road where the centipede was heading is a swamp.Sorry if the question is a foolish.

Hi Sumeet,

Millipedes do grow large in size (about 15 cm) but they walk in a straight line - and not like snakes, so I will rule out that possibility.

Did you notice any colour pattern on the centipede - was it orange-and-black? These centipedes are well known to grow really large in size, sometimes more than eight inches. Note: this centipede is commonly called Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra hardwicki). I'm sure there must be other species which grow to that length as well, but I'm not sure which.

Centipedes are occasionally found along areas which are saturated with waters because it is easy to find prey. It is quite possible that you saw a centipede.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Aniruddha Dhamorikar


I will answer general identification questions about insects and spiders ONLY from India. I cannot guarantee specific identification (of species), but I will try my best! If I do not have the answer, I will get back to you on the right answer as soon as possible.


I have been studying fauna of Indian for several years, as a hobby as well as academically.

B.Sc. Zoology M.Sc. Environmental Science M.E.S.

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