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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this bug/worm?


Shower drain bug
Shower drain bug  
This creature crawled out of my shower floor drain.  The bug is 3 to 4 inches long, what is it?  Thank you.

Dear Raymond - This appears to be the mortal remains of a scolopendrid centipede, see for an example of an intact specimen. A specimen this size can inflict a painful but fortunately not dangerous bite if mishandled. While at Ft. Sam Houston in 1967, I was bitten on the back of my hand by a 4" centipede as I was attempting to transfer it from one container to another. The pain was sharp, severe, and immediate, and the bite site developed a wheal about the diameter of a half dollar. However, 24 hours later, it was difficult to discern the site of the bite.

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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