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.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
.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
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

3D Downloads

Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Giant Centipede to other myriapods

The Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes) is a centipede that is widely distributed in Australia with variations in size, coloration and patterning, and habitat. Shades of yellow and orange are the most common. Giant Centipedes in arid climates are often pale yellow, and those in rainforest habitats are dark green or blue. Habitat also influences body proportion; those in arid habitats are heavily built with proportionally short legs, and Giant Centipedes in rainforests have longer legs and a lighter build. The species lives in sheltered places like under logs, leaf litter and bark, and beneath rocks. As a voracious eater, the Giant Centipede consumes insects, snails, worms, and small vertebrates.

The Giant Centipede has an overall length between 3”-6.3” (7.5-16 cm) and width of .28”-.55” (7-14 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Centipede is between 3-5 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Giant Centipede in various poses
The Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes) is a centipede that is widely distributed in Australia with variations in size, coloration and patterning, and habitat. Shades of yellow and orange are the most common. Giant Centipedes in arid climates are often pale yellow.

The Giant Centipede has an overall length between 3”-6.3” (7.5-16 cm) and width of .28”-.55” (7-14 mm). The typical lifespan of the Giant Centipede is between 3-5 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Giant Centipede in various poses
Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)
Height:
Width:
.28”-.55” | 7-14 mm
Length:
3”-6.3” | 7.5-16 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Ethmostigmus rubripes
Lifespan
3-5 years

Drawings include:

Giant Centipede top view (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

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)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

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

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a American Giant Millipede to other myriapods

The American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) is a large millipede that inhabits the eastern seaboard of North America west to Georgetown, Texas, north of the Ottine wetlands. It inhabits forests and agricultural areas and can be found under rocks, rotting logs, leaf litter, and other decaying plant materials. As nocturnal creatures, the American Giant Millipede prefers dark and damp areas where it spends its time foraging, eating, and grooming. Its body is gray and nearly cylindrical, and when threatened, it will curl up or release a noxious liquid that can cause dermatological burns.

The American Giant Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), width of .35”-.51” (9-13 mm), and weight of .07-.09 oz (2-2.5 g). The typical lifespan of the American Giant Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Giant Millipede in various poses
The American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) is a large millipede that inhabits the eastern seaboard of North America west to Georgetown, Texas, north of the Ottine wetlands. It inhabits forests and agricultural areas and can be found under rocks, rotting logs, and leaf litter.

The American Giant Millipede has an overall length between 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), width of .35”-.51” (9-13 mm), and weight of .07-.09 oz (2-2.5 g). The typical lifespan of the American Giant Millipede is between 5-11 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Giant Millipede in various poses
American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus)
Height:
Width:
.35”-.51” | 9-13 mm
Length:
3.9”-5.1” | 10-13 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.07-.09 oz | 2-2.5 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Narceus americanus
Lifespan
5-11 years

Drawings include:

American Giant Millipede top view (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Related Animals Collections
Animals