How Many Legs Does a Centipede Really Have? Here the Answer!

October 17, 2017 | Centipedes

Hello everyone, in this article we are going to explain about one of the venomous species named centipede, so you will know how many legs does centipede have and also another interesting facts about this species. And here we go:

Centidpede Legs

When you see a centipede crawling on the ground, it is truly a fascinating creature to watch. If you happen to kick it over on its back, you will be in for a real treat because you will get to see all its legs moving around in the air at the same time. A lot of people believe that centipedes all have 100 legs because the prefix “centi” means 100 in the metric system. The truth is that centipedes could have as little as 30 legs or as many as 300 legs. Each centipede that you find is bound to have a different number of legs. So, do not believe the myth that all centipedes have 100 legs because they do not. Of course, if you want to find out for yourself then you can find a centipede, turn it over, and then start counting.

Scientists believe that over 8,000 centipede species exist in this world. Out of those 8,000 species, only 3,000 of them were discovered or described by people. The number of legs that a centipede has is different for each species. Another thing that determines their leg count is how many body segments they have. With most species of centipedes, each of their body segments contains one pair of legs. The number of body segments that they have could range from 15 all the way to 177. If you multiply those numbers by 2, then you will know how many legs they could have.

Common Places

Centipedes can be found anywhere in the world. People assume that centipedes only exist in tropical rainforests or jungles because of all the plants and moisture. But they can also be found in desert environments too where there is very little plant life and moisture. In deserts, they still need a microhabitat which provides them some moisture to survive. Centipedes tend to lose water very quickly because they don’t have a waxy protective cuticle layer like most spiders and insects do.

When you go searching for centipedes in any environment, you will typically find them underneath the dirt or soil. If there are fallen leaves, logs, or dead wood on the ground, centipedes will be hanging out around those too. This is where they usually hide from other bigger creatures and humans. Meanwhile, they prey upon smaller creatures for food like worms, spiders, and most small insects. There is one centipede species called “Scolopendra Cataracta” which is amphibious and searches for food in water and on land.

Other Interesting Facts

Centipedes are known as invertebrates. This means they do not possess a vertebral column that supplies them with a spine or backbone. In fact, centipedes are the largest invertebrates in the world which prey on other living things. When they go to attack their prey, they have two special legs in the back of their head which serve as venomous fangs. With most species, the legs start off short from the head and then get gradually longer toward the tail. Their two shortest legs are what goes into their prey when they attack. People who get bit by centipedes will often feel numbness in that area for a while. They usually are able to survive as the toxins do not kill them.

Read also: Are Centipedes Dangerous and Poisonous to Humans? Absolutely Yes!

The last set of legs contains sensory bristles which they use as antennae to navigate and get out of narrow areas. The most interesting thing is their ability to shed their legs when they need to. Sometimes they will choose to shed their legs if they have no other choice for their own survival. After they are safe, these legs will regenerate in those body segments where they were shed. This also comes in handy if they were to get attacked and lose their legs in battle. They would just regenerate new ones later and continue on their way.


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