Feature Journal

Differentiating Millipedes and Centipedes

6 July 2012
I had posted pictures of millipedes in this post earlier, and some friends commented that they looked like centipedes. How would you differentiate them then? I have compiled a summary of what I know…

Number of Legs2 pairs per body segment, except first 3 segments with 1 pair each1 pair per body segment
Movement SpeedSlowBLOODY FAST (oops)
Bite?Scavengers, do not bitePredators, has modified venomous legs behind the head

Millipede (Paradoxosomatidae) - DSC_1374#1 Melvyn found this pair of mating millipedes. The female was heavily infested with mites!

Millipede (Paradoxosomatidae) - DSC_1380#2 Some people thought that these were centipedes. The easiest way to tell them apart, is that millipedes would have 2 pairs of legs per body segment (except first 3 segments), while centipedes have 1 pair per body segment.

Nocturnal Claws, Centipede (Chilopoda) - DSC_8228#2b An old shot of a centipede highlighting the long antennae and venomous fangs

Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_1299#3 James found this Theridiid with THREE termites for supper!

Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_1306#4 This angle shows the 3 pointed heads of the termites

DSC_1326#5 Messing up the leaf litter and found this tiny spider (Theridiidae or Oonopidae?)

Ground Spider (Zodariidae) - DSC_1328#6 Zodariidae

Sac Spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_1330#7 Sac Spider (Clubionidae)

Sac Spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_1332#8 Sometimes, I mistook them for Sparassids

Sac Spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_1333#9 Top view

Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_1338#10 Daddy Long Legs spider (Pholcidae) carrying her eggs and peering through a hole in a leaf

Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_1359#11 Too difficult to shoot from under the leaf, so I just took all my shots through the hole

Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_1362#12 Experimental back-lighting

Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_1366#13 Preferred this, as it highlights the translucent legs

Harvestman (Opiliones) - DSC_1372#14 A harvestman running around in the leaf litter

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_1383#15 Crab spider? (Thomisidae)

Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_1387#16 Found this pair of male and female Wide Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis)

DSC_1389#17 Looks like a spider protecting her egg sac of freshly emerged spiderlings (nearby) with one of them returning to mummy

DSC_1392#18 Fidgeted around, but stuck to the egg sac

DSC_1394#19 Looks like not all spiderlings have emerged

DSC_1397#20 A tiny cranefly (?) got stuck in the web, and some spiderlings promptly charged over

DSC_1407#21 Crawled all over the prey as the cranefly slowly ceased to struggle

DSC_1411#22 Perhaps the spiderling did inject venom into the prey

DSC_1420#23 Two spiderlings climbing around

Fulgorid Planthopper (Fulgoridae) - DSC_1424#24 Fulgoridae, lantern bug’s relative?

Fulgorid Planthopper (Fulgoridae) - DSC_1438#25 Top view of the Fulgorid

Black-spotted Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma) - DSC_1445#26 A fat looking Black-spotted Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma)

Black-spotted Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma) - DSC_1448#27 This angle doesn’t make it look too fat. ūüėõ

Black-spotted Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma) - DSC_1452#28 Front view makes it look a little like the Malayan Horned Frog

Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_1457#29 Two-tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) with a prey

Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops) - DSC_1459#30 Last find of the night is this Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops)

Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops) - DSC_1465#31 The hind legs had a slight tinge of blue

Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops) - DSC_1468#32 Looking really grumpy

Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops) - DSC_1479#33 Very docile and stood quietly

Black-eyed Litter Frog (Leptobrachium nigrops) - DSC_1484#34 Final shot as it climbed further in preparation to leap!

The complete album can be viewed here.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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