Animal Species:House Centipede

An Australian native, the House Centipede is the most common 'scutigeromorph' centipede throughout southern Australia.

House Centipede Specimen

Andrew Donnelly © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

House Centipede

Identification

Centipedes are divided into five groups and the scutigeromorphs are the only centipedes with faceted or compound eyes. Other centipedes have a single-lens eye (ocellus) on each side of the head, a small cluster of ocelli, or no eyes at all. House centipedes look different to other centipedes. They have 15 pairs of long, jointed legs and whip-like antennae. The last pair of legs is so long and slender that they look like antennae and, were it not for their prominent eyes, it would be difficult to distinguish which end was which at first sight.

Size range

2.5 cm

Distribution

House Centipedes are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Other house centipedes in Sydney include the European House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptera), which is native to Spain but has been introduced nearly worldwide.

Habitat

House Centipedes live in urban areas, forests and woodlands. This species is mostly encountered indoors.

Feeding and Diet

House Centipedes eat spiders and many insects found inside houses, moving quickly and pouncing on their prey.

Danger to humans and first aid

Technically, House Centipedes can bite but they are considered harmless to people.

Classification

Species:
maculata
Genus:
Allothereua
Family:
Scutigeridae
Order:
Scutigeromorpha
Subclass:
Notostigmophora
Class:
Chilopoda
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags centipedes, myriapods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, arthropods,