House Centipede

By William T. Hathaway
House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

Although most of us don't like to see these little many-legged creatures zapping about our house, it is a fact that they are beneficial to many human dwellings: the House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata) is an insect that eats other insects. Among its prey are cockroaches, silverfish, flies, spiders and other household pests.

It is written that the House Centipede captures its prey by jumping on the prey and lassoing victims with the centipede's long antennas. The House Centipede injects its venom through poison fangs and consumes the victim when it is dead.

A few humans who have been bitten by the house centipede explain that the bite feels a little like a bee sting.

(Also see this photograph in larger format, and further information about centipedes and millipedes.)


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