Entomology (Study of Bugs)/what is it?


A friend took a pic of this in the morning, fri april 3 In pueble colorado. Never seen or heard of it any info would be great thanks lucas. Looks like it has 12 legs.?

Dear Lucas - This is a house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. It is a very common species having a cosmopolitan distribution. Fully grown adults have 16 pairs of legs.  They have quite good eyesight for centipedes, and actively hunt down their prey (usually other small arthropods, mostly insects). If you see several of these, especially within a relatively short period of time, it could indicate the presence of an insect infestation. Be careful if you attempt to capture one of these, as they reportedly can deliver a fairly painful bite. See http://tinyurl.com/mn7mzf for more detailed information.

Hope this helps,

Thank you for your kind comments, but I just realized that I made a mistake in my answer; these have 15, not 16 pairs of legs as adults...

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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