Entomology (Study of Bugs)/House Bug w/16 Legs


ID Bug on Wall
ID Bug on Wall  
Hello. I need help identifying this bug. It has about 16 legs, is approx. 4-6 cm long, is reddish-brown, and moves fast. I recently moved into this apartment and see a lot of these. I've tried looking online for the name of this bug, but can't seem to spot it. Thanks in advance if you can identify this critter for me! :-)

Dear Stephanie - This is a house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. This species has a very wide distribution, and as its name implies, often is found indoors where they hunt down and eat insects they encounter. Although this behavior could be considered beneficial, many people regard them as pests, as they just don't like things scuttling about their house. Also, they are capable of inflicting a painful bite should you handle one carelessly. See http://tinyurl.com/mn7mzf for more detailed information on this species.

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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