There are 8,000 species of centipedes.
Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, “hundred”, and pes, pedis, “foot”) are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda.
They have one pair of legs per body segment. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300. Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of legs, e.g. 15 or 17 pairs of legs (30 or 34 legs) but never 16 pairs (32 legs).
There is a pair of venom claws or “forcipules” formed from a modified first appendage. Centipedes bite, and some can be dangerous to people by passing along bacterial infections.
Centipedes are a predominantly carnivorous. They eat small insects.
However, the giant centipedes catch bats for dinner! Watch the video:
Centipedes are nocturnal and usually remain under stones or wood during the day.
The centipede is a predator. In the next video, a large centipede attacks and eats a tarantula.
The world’s largest centipede
Meet “Baby”. She is a record-sized adult female Scolopendra gigantea “white-legged morph” (“Goliath Centipede”) from South America. Her 13″ length is the largest captive centipede in the U.S. as of 6/20/10.