Myriapods | Myriapoda

Myriapods refer to terrestrial animals under the subphylum arthropods. They include millipedes, centipedes, pseudo centipedes, and among others. These animals are identified by bodies separated into many segments having a head and a trunk. They may also have many legs or fewer than ten legs. Myriapods are predominantly found in moist forests where they play an important role in the environment by breaking down decaying matter and also helping in soil aeration. Millipede which falls under class Diplopoda is the most abundant and diverse in this class. These creatures also have a single pair of antennae and simple eyes with some species of Myriapods adapted to producing light.

How many legs do myriapods have?

Myriapods typically have more than 6 legs as well as one pair of antennae. The number of legs a myriapod has depends on its classification as millipedes can have between 36 to 400 legs. Other classifications like the Symphyla are born with 6 legs, but grow others throughout their lifetime.

What are the primary characteristics of myriapods?

The primary characteristics of myriapods include having a segmented and worm-shaped body that is not soft, but hard due to mineral salts in their environment. Myriapods also have a head with a pair of antennae, a long body divided into 2 regions, tracheal breathing, and embody terrestrial behavior.

When did Myriapods first appear?

Myriapods first appeared about 428 million years ago. This discovery was made through the fossil of the myriapod, the millipede, Pneumodesmus newmani. The Pneumodesmus newmani is also important as it is the earliest known terrestrial animal. The overall fossil record of myriapods extends back into the late Silurian period.

Myriapods Guides
Browse through our curated Myriapods Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Myriapods. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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.91”-1.14” | 23-29 mm
11”-11.8” | 28-30 cm
8-15 years
Amazonian Giant Centipede
2.900
30.000
15.00
15000
3D
Amazonian Giant Centipede
.35”-.51” | 9-13 mm
3.9”-5.1” | 10-13 cm
.07-.09 oz | 2-2.5 g
5-11 years
American Giant Millipede
1.300
13.000
0.003
11.00
2500
3D
American Giant Millipede
.2”-.43” | 5-11 mm
3.9”-5.9” | 10-15 cm
7-10 years
Desert Millipede
1.100
15.000
10.00
1150
3D
Desert Millipede
.6”-.75” | 15-19 mm
11”-13.4” | 28-34 cm
6.4-9.6 oz | 181-272 g
7-10 years
Giant African Millipede
1.900
34.000
0.272
10.00
4600
3D
Giant African Millipede
.28”-.55” | 7-14 mm
3”-6.3” | 7.5-16 cm
3-5 years
Giant Centipede
1.400
16.000
5.00
29040
3D
Giant Centipede
.47”-.63” | 12-16 mm
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
3-6 years
Giant Desert Centipede
1.600
20.000
6.00
7600
3D
Giant Desert Centipede
.08”-.1” | 2-2.5 mm
.7”-.9” | 1.8-2.3 cm
4-7 years
Greenhouse Millipede
0.250
2.300
7.00
5800
3D
Greenhouse Millipede
.14”-.26” | 3.5-6.5 mm
1”-1.5” | 2.5-3.8 cm
3-7 years
House Centipede
0.650
3.800
7.00
148000
3D
House Centipede
.16”-.35” | 4-9 mm
.3”-.8” | .8-2 cm
5-11 years
Pill Millipede
0.900
2.000
11.00
1700
3D
Pill Millipede
.28”-.47” | 7-12 mm
3.9”-7.1” | 10-18 cm
4-6 years
Tiger Centipede
1.200
18.000
6.00
2600
3D
Tiger Centipede
.59”-.75” | 15-19 mm
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
.09-.1 oz | 2.5-3 g
7-10 years
Vietnamese Centipede
1.900
20.000
0.003
10.00
8800
3D
Vietnamese Centipede
.24”-.39” | 6-10 mm
1.6”-2” | 4-5 cm
.03-.05 oz | .8-1.5 g
2-3 years
Yellow-Spotted Millipede
1.000
5.000
0.002
3.00
500
3D
Yellow-Spotted Millipede
Vietnamese Centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Vietnamese Centipede compared to other myriapods

The Vietnamese Centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) is a widespread centipede throughout eastern Asia. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the Old World. As an aggressive hunter, the Vietnamese Centipede mostly feeds on arachnids including spiders, scorpions, and vinegaroons. But they will also overpower and eat small vertebrates like mice or small reptiles. Physically, the Vietnamese Centipede has a red or red-brown body with yellow or yellow-orange legs. They have 22 body segments each with a pair of legs, and there is a pair of modified legs known as forcipules on the head.

The Vietnamese Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm), width of .59”-.75” (15-19 mm), and weight of .09-.1 oz (2.5-3 g). The typical lifespan of the Vietnamese Centipede is between 7-10 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Vietnamese Centipede
The Vietnamese Centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) is a widespread centipede throughout eastern Asia. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the Old World. As an aggressive hunter, the Vietnamese Centipede mostly feeds on arachnids including spiders, scorpions and vinegaroons.

The Vietnamese Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm), width of .59”-.75” (15-19 mm), and weight of .09-.1 oz (2.5-3 g). The typical lifespan of the Vietnamese Centipede is between 7-10 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Vietnamese Centipede
Vietnamese Centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes)
Height:
Width:
.59”-.75” | 15-19 mm
Length:
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.09-.1 oz | 2.5-3 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Scolopendra subspinipes
Lifespan
7-10 years

Drawings include:

Vietnamese Centipede top view, side

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Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Tiger Centipede to other myriapods

The Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha) is a centipede that lives in dry grasslands, forests, and deserts in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, north to the Pacific coast. In these habitats, the Tiger Centipede resides under rocks, burrows, and inside rotting logs. The species usually has a darker brown, red, or orange-colored head, and the body segments are orange with yellow legs. The coloration of the body contrasts with the one dark lateral stripe also on the segments, and there are seven or more smooth segments on the antennae. They are carnivorous and eat insects, lizards, frogs, and rodents.

The Tiger Centipede has an overall length between 3.9”-7.1” (10-18 cm) and width of .28”-.47” (7-12 mm). The typical lifespan of the Tiger Centipede is between 4-6 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Tiger Centipede in various poses
The Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha) is a centipede that lives in dry grasslands, forests, and deserts in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, north to the Pacific coast. In these habitats, the Tiger Centipede resides under rocks, burrows, and inside rotting logs.

The Tiger Centipede has an overall length between 3.9”-7.1” (10-18 cm) and width of .28”-.47” (7-12 mm). The typical lifespan of the Tiger Centipede is between 4-6 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Tiger Centipede in various poses
Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)
Height:
Width:
.28”-.47” | 7-12 mm
Length:
3.9”-7.1” | 10-18 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Scolopendra polymorpha
Lifespan
4-6 years

Drawings include:

Tiger Centipede top view (assorted)

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Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas)
Scale illustration of an average Giant African Millipede compared to other myriapod species

The Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) is a widespread millipede species in lowland parts of East Africa, from Mozambique to Kenya. It mostly lives in forests, but it is also found in costal habitats that have a few trees. The species has approximately 256 legs, but the number of legs changes with each molting, so there is variation according to each individual. The Giant African Millipede has two main modes of defense when threatened; it curls into a tight spiral to expose the hard exoskeleton, or it secretes a liquid from the pores on their body.

The Giant African Millipede has an overall length between 11”-13.4” (28-34 cm), width of .6”-.75” (15-19 mm), and weight of 6.4-9.6 oz (181-272 g). The typical lifespan of the Giant African Millipede is between 7-10 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Giant African Millipede
The Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas) is a widespread millipede species in lowland parts of East Africa, from Mozambique to Kenya. It mostly lives in forests, but it is also found in costal habitats that have a few trees. The species has approximately 256 legs.

The Giant African Millipede has an overall length between 11”-13.4” (28-34 cm), width of .6”-.75” (15-19 mm), and weight of 6.4-9.6 oz (181-272 g). The typical lifespan of the Giant African Millipede is between 7-10 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Giant African Millipede
Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas)
Height:
Width:
.6”-.75” | 15-19 mm
Length:
11”-13.4” | 28-34 cm
Depth:
Weight:
6.4-9.6 oz | 181-272 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Archispirostreptus gigas
Lifespan
7-10 years

Drawings include:

Giant African Millipede top view, side

Details & Downloads

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Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Greenhouse Millipede to other myriapods

The Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis) is a widely introduced millipede species that is sometimes a pest in greenhouses. They are thought to be native to Japan, and are also found in the tropics as well as temperate North and South America, and all of Europe. Physically, they have a transverse groove of each segment of the dorsal section. They are brown with pale cream-colored legs and paranota (lateral ”keels” extending from each segment). Their diet consists mostly of decaying leaves and other plant material like rotting leaves and rotting wood.

The Greenhouse Millipede has an overall length between .7”-.9” (1.8-2.3 cm) and width of .08”-.1” (2-2.5 mm). The typical lifespan of the Greenhouse Millipede is between 4-7 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Greenhouse Millipede in various poses
The Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis) is a widely introduced millipede species that is sometimes a pest in greenhouses. They are thought to be native to Japan, and are also found in the tropics as well as temperate North and South America, and all of Europe.

The Greenhouse Millipede has an overall length between .7”-.9” (1.8-2.3 cm) and width of .08”-.1” (2-2.5 mm). The typical lifespan of the Greenhouse Millipede is between 4-7 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Greenhouse Millipede in various poses
Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)
Height:
Width:
.08”-.1” | 2-2.5 mm
Length:
.7”-.9” | 1.8-2.3 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Oxidus gracilis
Lifespan
4-7 years

Drawings include:

Greenhouse Millipede top view (assorted)

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Amazonian Giant Centipede (Scolopendra gigantea)
Scale illustration of an average Amazonian Giant Centipede compared to other myriapod species

The Amazonian Giant Centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) is a centipede that lives in the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests and tropical dry forests of South America and the Caribbean. As a carnivore, the Amazonian Giant Centipede can overpower and kill many invertebrates like large insects and spiders, and also small vertebrates including small lizards, frogs, and mice. The species is solitary and should be kept alone. There is at least one human death attributed to the Amazonian Giant Centipede’s toxic venom. Like other members of the genus scolopendra, the centipede has 21 or 23 well marked sections with each section having a pair of legs.

The Amazonian Giant Centipede has an overall length between 11”-11.8” (28-30 cm) and width of .91”-1.14” (23-29 mm). The typical lifespan of the Amazonian Giant Centipede is between 8-15 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Amazonian Giant Centipede
The Amazonian Giant Centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) is a centipede that lives in the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests and tropical dry forests of South America and the Caribbean. As a carnivore, the Amazonian Giant Centipede can overpower and kill many invertebrates.

The Amazonian Giant Centipede has an overall length between 11”-11.8” (28-30 cm) and width of .91”-1.14” (23-29 mm). The typical lifespan of the Amazonian Giant Centipede is between 8-15 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Amazonian Giant Centipede
Amazonian Giant Centipede (Scolopendra gigantea)
Height:
Width:
.91”-1.14” | 23-29 mm
Length:
11”-11.8” | 28-30 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Scolopendra gigantea
Lifespan
8-15 years

Drawings include:

Amazonian Giant Centipede top view (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

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