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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
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
GUIDE
3D
Yellow-Spotted Millipede
Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Desert Millipede compared to other myriapods

The Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus) is a North American millipede species that is found in the US states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and as far south as the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. It lives in the deep, damp soil of the desert ecosystem, as it protects the millipede from any harmful biotic or abiotic events. The Desert Millipede is mostly nocturnal, and it spends most of its time in self-dug burrows. The main source of its food is bacteria, and it will feed on dead plant material and tissues of dead shrubs.

The Desert Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.9” (10-15 cm) and width of .2”-.43” (5-11 mm). The typical lifespan of the Desert Millipede is between 7-10 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Desert Millipede
The Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus) is a North American millipede species that is found in the US states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and as far south as the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. It lives in the deep, damp soil of the desert ecosystem, as it protects the millipede.

The Desert Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.9” (10-15 cm) and width of .2”-.43” (5-11 mm). The typical lifespan of the Desert Millipede is between 7-10 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Desert Millipede
Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)
Height:
Width:
.2”-.43” | 5-11 mm
Length:
3.9”-5.9” | 10-15 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Orthoporus ornatus
Lifespan
7-10 years

Drawings include:

Desert Millipede top view, side

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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

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Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Giant Desert Centipede compared to other myriapods

The Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros) is a North American centipede that occupies the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The species occupies rocky woodland areas, and it stays underground in warm weather, emerging in cloudy weather. With a number of color variations, the Giant Desert Centipede is aposematically colored to warn off potential predators. The castaneiceps variation in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas has a red head and greenish black body and tail. As a nocturnal predator, the Giant Desert Centipede uses its venom to hunt small invertebrates, including rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Giant Desert Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm) and width of .47”-.63” (12-16 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Desert Centipede is between 3-6 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Giant Desert Centipede
The Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros) is a North American centipede that occupies the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The species occupies rocky woodland areas, and it stays underground in warm weather, emerging in cloudy weather.

The Giant Desert Centipede has an overall length between 6.7”-7.9” (17-20 cm) and width of .47”-.63” (12-16 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Desert Centipede is between 3-6 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Giant Desert Centipede
Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
Height:
Width:
.47”-.63” | 12-16 mm
Length:
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Scolopendra heros
Lifespan
3-6 years

Drawings include:

Giant Desert Centipede top view (assorted)

Details & Downloads

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Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Pill Millipede compared to other myriapods

The Pill Millipede (Oniscomorpha) is a millipede that closely resembles a certain woodlice called pillbugs or ”roly-polies”. Compared to most other millipedes, the Pill Millipede is short-bodied with only eleven to thirteen body segments. They can roll into a ball when disturbed, and exude a noxious liquid to repel predators; this can be both caustic and toxic to repel predators. Pill Millipedes are detritivores, as they mostly consume decomposing plant matter in the woodlands. Depending on the scientific order, the species’ distribution is varied.

The Pill Millipede has an overall length between .3”-.8” (.8-2 cm) and width of .16”-.35” (4-9 mm). The typical lifespan of the Pill Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Pill Millipede
The Pill Millipede (Oniscomorpha) is a millipede that closely resembles a certain woodlice called pillbugs or ”roly-polies”. Compared to most other millipedes, the Pill Millipede is short-bodied with only eleven to thirteen body segments. They can roll into a ball when disturbed.

The Pill Millipede has an overall length between .3”-.8” (.8-2 cm) and width of .16”-.35” (4-9 mm). The typical lifespan of the Pill Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Set of scaled top view drawings of the Pill Millipede
Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata)
Height:
Width:
.16”-.35” | 4-9 mm
Length:
.3”-.8” | .8-2 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Glomeris marginata
Lifespan
5-11 years

Drawings include:

Pill Millipede top view, side

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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

Details & Downloads

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