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

greenhouse millipede (Oxidus gracilis)

parajulid millipede (Tribe Aniulini)

millipedes (Class Diplopoda)

flat-backed millipedes (Order Polydesmida)

flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)

stone centipedes (Order Lithobiomorpha)

stone centipede (Order Lithobiomorpha)

Photo by Alfredo Colon









This list includes only myriapods that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the myriapods found in Minnesota.


Profile Photo Video      

American giant millipede (Narceus americanus)



flat-backed millipede (Order Polydesmida)

flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)

greenhouse millipede

millipede (Class Diplopoda)

millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)

millipede (Cylindroiulus sp.)

parajulid millipede (Tribe Aniulini)

stone centipede (Order Lithobiomorpha)


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 millipedes (Eurymerodesmus spp.)

Profile Photo Video  

flat-backed millipedes (Order Polydesmida)

Profile Photo    

flat-backed millipede (Pleuroloma flavipes)


flat-backed millipede (Polydesmus angustus)


flat-backed millipede (Polydesmus serratus)


granulated millipede (Scytonotus granulatus)

Profile Photo Video  

greenhouse millipede (Oxidus gracilis)


house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)


millipede (Abacion texense)


millipede (Aniulus diversifrons diversifrons)


millipede (Aniulus garius)


millipede (Oriulus venustus)

Profile Photo Video   millipedes (Class Diplopoda)
Profile Photo Video  

millipede (Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus)


millipedes (Cylindroiulus spp.)


millipedes (Julida spp.)

Profile Photo    

parajulid millipedes (Tribe Aniulini)

Profile Photo Video  

stone centipedes (Order Lithobiomorpha)

Abacion texense (millipede)

Aniulini (parajulid millipedes)

Aniulus diversifrons diversifrons (millipede)

Aniulus garius (millipede)

Auturus evides (flat-backed millipede)

Order Callipodida (crested millipedes)

Class Diplopoda (millipedes)

Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus (millipede)

Cylindroiulus spp. (millipedes)

Eurymerodesmus spp. (flat-backed millipedes)

Geophilus flavus (boreal yellow-headed soil centipede)

Geophilus vittatus (diamondback soil centipede)

Julida spp. (millipedes)

Lithobiomorpha (stone centipedes)

Lithobius forficatus (brown centipede)

Narceus americanus (American giant millipede)

Oriulus venustus (millipede)

Oxidus gracilis (greenhouse millipede)

Pleuroloma flavipes (flat-backed millipede)

Polydesmida (flat-backed millipedes)

Polydesmus angustus (flat-backed millipede)

Polydesmus serratus (flat-backed millipede)

Scolopocryptops sexspinosus (eastern fire centipede)

Scutigera coleoptrata (house centipede)

Scytonotus granulatus (granulated millipede)


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 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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