Bark Centipede: 19 Facts You Won't Believe!

Bark centipedes facts talk about how they are found in a variety of habitats and have a high tolerance to different weather conditions.

Bark centipedes (Scolopocryptops sexspinosus) are not like millipedes and have segments all over their torso. They have a head with antennae and claws that store venom. They do not have proper eyesight because they have compound eyes. They are found in a diverse range of habitats and have a waxy silhouette. They are mainly found in shady, cool, and damp places. They are also called stone centipedes. Each segment in their torso contains one pair of legs. They are often confused with millipedes who have two pairs of legs in each segment. They are found in different colors like orange, brown, black, red, and tan. They are majorly found in areas of North America. They tend to consume smaller insects, arthropods, and vertebrates like bats, frogs, and mice as their food content. They can bite which causes immense pain and irritation. Their bites can cause numbness, swelling, discoloration, and necrosis.  They are active hunters too. They are dangerous animals that are found in any site with high moisture in them. Read on to discover more about these centipedes.

If you enjoy reading about this animal, you can also check out facts about red paper wasp and common wasp.

Bark Centipede

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Bedbugs, moths, spiders, silverfish, and other small insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

10-50 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

0.16–12 in (4-300 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Flat, elongated, segmented body type with one pair of legs per segment

Skin Type

Waxy skin with segments

What are their main threats?

Habitat destruction

What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them

Tropical rainforests, deserts, arctic regions, and terrestrial grounds


North America





Scientific Name

Scolopocryptops sexspinosus





Bark Centipede Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bark centipede?

The bark centipede is a type of arthropod species. However, these creatures are not insects. They have a terrestrial habitat and have 15 pairs of legs. They have a head that contains antennae that help them in movement and communication. They have compound eyes which makes their eyesight very weak.

What class of animal does a bark centipede belong to?

Bark centipedes are arthropods and belong to the Chilopoda class. There are different kinds of centipedes. These are bark centipede, giant centipede, house centipede, and more.

How many bark centipedes are there in the world?

There is no data on the bark centipede population, but there exist approximately 8000 species of centipedes.

Where does a bark centipede live?

The bark centipede can exist in a range of atmospheres. They are found in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. They can survive in the arctic as well as terrestrial grounds.

What is a bark centipede's habitat?

They are nocturnal species and prefer to live in moist or damp, shady or dark, and cool environments. They can also be found in tropical rain forests and deserts. However, they are most commonly found in terrestrial lands.

Who does bark centipede live with?

The centipedes prefer to live on their own. They do not stay in groups and dwell alone. They are also named solitary active predators since they live alone and hunt their prey.

How long does a bark centipede live?

It has been found that centipedes can live for a year on average, however, some species can live up to six years. The lifespan of a centipede tends to depend on its species.

How do they reproduce?

Centipedes reproduce with the help of sexual reproduction. However, centipedes reproduce by pathogenesis which is an asexual mode of reproduction. The procedure is generally initiated by the male centipedes where they churn out tiny webs which can be retrieved as sperm packages by the female centipedes. The females then lay out their eggs on tree bark, stones, or dirt. The female is responsible for taking care of the eggs and raises the offspring. The breeding takes place in the summer season.

What is their conservation status?

Almost all of the centipedes are given a Not Extinct status. However, the Serpent Island centipede which is found in parts of Africa is listed out as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Bark Centipede Fun Facts

What do bark centipedes look like?

The centipedes have a body similar to a worm. Their torso is split into segments and they have approximately 100 leg pairs. They have a brown or yellow-colored torso with dark stripes present on the torso. They have a head that contains a pair of antennae, a small mouth, and a structure that resembles claws and is responsible for storing venom. They have extremely tiny eyes and their body has a waxy silhouette.

Bark centipedes have a highly segmented body and their bite contains venom. They have antennae that support movement and communication.

How cute are they?

Centipedes are not at all cute. Their body has wax, segments, and venom which makes them less appealing and cute. They are considered pests and their offspring aren't cute either.

How do they communicate?

The centipedes have a pair of antennae on their head which helps them to move around in search of prey and aids them in communication. They also use their sense of touch to move around and communicate. The process of leg movement can also help in communication. The centipedes have a pair of compound eyes therefore they have very poor eyesight.

How big is a bark centipede?

Centipedes are tiny, venomous, and dangerous animals. Their body has a size lying in the range of 0.16–12 in (4-300 mm). They have over 100 segments in their body and their last pair of legs are bigger than the complete body.

How fast can a bark centipede move?

Centipedes have more than 100 pairs of legs which offer them a great speed of movement. The speeds help them to catch and they and also to save themselves from the predators. They can escape easily and hunt effortlessly with a speed of 1.3 ft (40 cm) per second.

How much does a bark centipede weigh?

Centipedes are tiny animals so they do not weigh much. Due to their small size, their weight is considered negligible. It cannot be measured.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females centipedes are not given any special name.

What would you call a baby bark centipede?

The baby centipedes are not given any special name and age referred to as baby centipedes.

What do they eat?

Centipedes are carnivores and they tend to include a variety of small animals and insects as their source of food. Their diet mainly consists of spiders, worms, cockroaches, silverfish, and crickets. They can also consume other centipedes as their diet content. Elimination of food content from the atmosphere can be one of the main reasons to kill or remove bark centipedes.

Are they poisonous?

Centipedes have venom inside them which is utilized by them when in search of prey. They use it to kill their catch. This makes them poisonous however it has been found that their venom is not poisonous to humans. Sometimes their bite can trigger certain painful allergic reactions that include the release of chemicals such as histamine and serotonin in humans. This makes them dangerous. They should never be squished to kill otherwise their poison can come out and cause infections.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not advisable to keep centipedes as pets since they contain venom that can cause painful reactions in humans and are considered pests. They have a slippery texture and can inject venom through their bites so they do not make a very good pet.

Did you know...

Centipedes have more than 100 pairs of legs and they have a tiny length.

They contain venom and can cause immense pain to the person they bite. They are considered pests and are not generally kept as pets. Their bites can trigger certain allergic reactions and can include certain medical complications.

The centipede mothers take good care of their children and stay with them most of the time.

They have poor vision since their eyes are compound. They form a mosaic image.

They use their antennae for the purpose of movement and communication.

A bark centipede bite can inject venom into other animals which are then consumed as food content.

Can a centipede kill you?

No, they cannot kill an individual directly however their bites do trigger allergic and medical complications which may make risk the health of an individual. Their bite causes immense pain. House centipedes are not dangerous either.

How to get rid of bark centipede

Bark centipedes can bite an individual and trigger allergy so it is very important to get rid of them. They feed on cockroaches and smaller insects like a worm, bee, and others. No such insect must exist inside the house so that the food sources of centipedes should not be present. The absence of food makes a centipede starve to death or leave the place. Along with keeping a check on food sources, centipede repellent and other pesticides should also be used. They help to kill the pests that can prove to be fatal in some scenarios.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our mayfly facts and cat-faced spider facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable centipede coloring pages.



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