Minnesota Centipedes and Millipedes

Myriapods (Subphylum Myriapoda)

Myriapoda is the subphylum of arthropods that includes centipedes, millipedes, symphlids, pauropods, and arthropleurideans. There are almost 13,000 described and an estimated 72,000 undescribed species of myriapods. This includes both still living (extant) myriapods and those known only from the fossil record. All myriapods are characterized by the following:

  • elongated body;
  • numerous body segments;
  • a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton) made of chitin;
  • a single pair of antennae;
  • a single pair of mandibles;
  • simple eyes only, no compound eyes;
  • nine or more pairs of legs; and
  • terrestrial.


Millipedes (Diplopoda) have long, cylindrical or slightly flattened bodies with 20 to 100 body segments. The first four body segments each have a single pair of legs. The last segment bears the anus and has no legs. The remaining segments are fused together in pairs, and each fused segment has two pairs of legs. The antennae are short, elbowed, and usually have seven segments. Few millipedes are predatory and none are venomous. They do not bite.

Centipedes (Chilopoda) have long, flattened bodies with 15 to 173 body segments. The segments are not fused together. There is always an odd number of pairs of legs. The legs on the first segment are modified into a pair of jaw-like venom claws behind the head. The last two body segments have no legs. All other segments have a single pair of legs. The antennae are long, thread-like, and have fourteen or more segments. All centipedes are predators, and all are venomous. All can bite and some inflict painful bites.

Symphlids (Symphlya) are not common. The are similar to centipedes but have only 10 to 12 pairs of legs. They are white, eyeless, and small, 1 32 to 5 16 (1 to 8 mm) long. The antennae are not branched.

Pauropods (Pauropoda) are not common. The are similar to centipedes but have only 9 pairs of legs. They are white or brown, eyeless, and minute, 1 64 to 1 16 (0.5 to 2.0 mm) long. The antennae not branched.

Arthropleurideans (Arthropleuridea) are extinct and known only from fossil records.

millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)

Photo by Alfredo Colon




Recent Additions

Millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)

Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus is a large millipede native to western and northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom. Human activities have greatly contributed to the dispersal of this species. Its range continues to expand east and southeast in Europe. It was recently found for the first time in Hungary. It was introduced into North America and now occurs across northern United States and southern Canada.

Adults are worm-like, and cylindrical. They have more than 32 body segments (rings). Each ring is brownish-black with bronze-colored edges. This species is distinguished from similar millipedes by its large size and by the lack of a pointed projection on the last body segment.

  millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)
  Photo by Alfredo Colon

Other Recent Additions










Profile Photo Video      


American giant millipede (Narceus americanus)















millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)

millipede (Cylindroiulus sp.)


boreal yellow-headed soil centipede (Geophilus flavus)


brown centipede (Lithobius forficatus)


crested millipedes (Order Callipodida)


diamondback soil centipede (Geophilus vittatus)


eastern fire centipede (Scolopocryptops sexspinosus)


flat-backed millipede (Auturus evides)


flat-backed millipede (Eurymerodesmus spp.)


flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)


flat-backed millipede (Polydesmus angustus)


granulated millipede (Scytonotus granulatus)


greenhouse millipede (Oxidus gracilis)


house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

Profile Photo Photo

millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)


millipede (Cylindroiulus spp.)


millipede (Julida spp.)





No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an amphibian in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that amphibian. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the amphibian in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that amphibian featuring your contribution.








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