Centipede Vs. Millipede: What Makes Them Different?

Centipede Vs. Millipede Differences

Centipede Vs. Millipede: What Makes Them Different? – Centipede and Millipede become two little creatures that make us scared sometimes. However, most people often get confused as distinguishing those animals. Both centipedes and millipedes are not insects or bugs.

They belong to myriapods, the multi-legged creatures. Even they almost look similar and have something in common; centipede and millipede have several differences. Here we provide some centipede vs. millipede facts in order to avoid the confusion as distinguishing those multi-legged creatures.


Centipede Vs. Millipede Differences

Centipede Vs. Millipede Differences
Centipede Vs. Millipede Differences




For the classification, millipedes and centipedes have no differences. Both are including in myriapods, yet some people classify them in phylum arthropods. Even they belong to myriapods, the centipedes are in chilopods class, during the millipede in diplopods. Centipedes have about 8,000 species, while the millipedes have 12,000 species.



As talking about centipede vs. millipede facts, we can see its differences just by saying its name. Centipede comes from Greek word cheilos and poda, which mean “lip” and “foot.” Meanwhile, the millipede comes from diplopoda which means “double foot.”



Since centipede and millipede have many legs, people are sometimes confused to distinguish between those animals. In fact, centipede’s legs can reach until 750. They have two venomous legs which are used for the defense mechanism. However, if you wonder whether centipede poisonous or not, do not worry cause their legs do not consist poison. Unlike centipede, the millipede legs are more than centipede legs.

They have two pair’s legs on its each body segment, yet the first three segments only own one pair. The centipede only has one pair of legs for each segment.

The bodies of millipede and centipede are different as well. The millipedes own segmented, elongated, and flattened bodies. Meanwhile, the centipedes have exoskeletal, long, and segmented bodies.

Centipede can range around 6-8 inches in size, while millipedes are only about 4-5 inches. For the colors, both can be in different colors such as yellow, blue, red, green, orange, and others.

Even some species have no poison, the brighter colors creatures can be dangerous for human. Both centipedes and millipedes have antennae for smelling and feeding. However, the antennae in centipedes will be longer than millipedes’. Read Also Article: What House Centipede Looks Like?



For its habitat, centipedes prefer to stay in damp places and moist soil areas. They also can live in the forest, especially in dark places such as under the rocks, shrubs, and others. Meanwhile, millipedes can live in any condition. They can change their home if they feel its area is non-ecofriendly.

This one can live inside your house like in garage, basements, bathroom, under furniture, and other hiding areas. Some millipedes are able to live in deep water areas; even they can live underwater and soil for months.


Defense Mechanism

Another thing that you should know about centipedes and millipede facts is its defense strategies. Centipedes can bite and kill predators with its toxic and dangerous chemical consisting in their bites. Once you get bitten, you can have several symptoms such as burns, swelling, allergy, and even death. Meanwhile, the millipede has several toxic compounds which cause burns and allergic reactions. They can be very active in attacking its enemy. The compound can be very dangerous as touching by the human.


Centipede Vs. Millipede Similarities

Even centipede and millipede are different; both creatures have several things in common. Both centipede and millipede live with many pairs of legs. They have toxic chemical compounds which cause burns, allergic reactions, or even death. Centipede and millipede also own antennae for eating and smelling.

They get similar colors on its bodies and lay its eggs in soil areas. For the reproduction, they also reproduce with sexual reproduction. The male centipedes will leave its sperm near the females to make the impregnate easily. Meanwhile, in millipede, both female and male will corporate for mating.

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