What is the difference between these two creepy crawlies?
They both have legs. Lots of them. A centipede has one hundred and a millipede has one thousand hence the names…………. er, maybe not quite that many legs apparently. Less shoes required.
Centipedes belong to the Diplopoda family, subphylum mirapoda (originating from the Greek for lip foot) . Their bodies are made up of many flattened segments. A centipede has one pair of legs per segment. They have between under 20 legs to over 300.
Their legs are longer than those of a millipede and are held out to the side which positions their body low to the ground. The last legs are held behind the body and not used for walking. They are capable of moving rapidly.
They have short legs which are held beneath them resulting in the body being held high off the ground. They move fast in a wave like movement and in a much slower way than centipedes .
Male millipedes ave modified legs on their 7thbody segment called gonapods. Like most arthropods millipedes malt as they grow, and the number of body segments increases with each malt.
Millipedes do not bite but can secrete an irritating liquid from pores on their bodies which can be harmful if it comes in contact with your eyes or mouth. Their bodies are more rounded than centipedes and are long and cylindrical in appearance. They are detrivores, eating detritus (decaying plant and animal matter).
The largest millipede is the giant African millipede Archispirostreptus gigas which grow up to 30 cm long and can live for 7 years.
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