Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Worm identification


Hi Ed,
I saw this worm on a wall, second story bedroom approx. 3 feet up, alive, moving just its head slowly.
It took up the space about penny size. I found it today. I live in New Jersey.  
I have attached a photo using my ipad and the close up is bit blurry.
I appreciate you taking the time to look at it.

Thank You, Alison

Dear Allison - This appears to be a centipede in the order Geophilomorpha - see http://tinyurl.com/cb3fyqb for an image. Commonly known as earth or soil centipedes, they are general predators on other small arthropods and completely harmless to humans. Finding one where you did, however, seems rather odd, as they seldom come above ground unless their habitat is disturbed.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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