There is a common misconception that centipedes are insects. Centipedes are, in fact, arthropods—a group of animals that also includes insects, spiders, and crustaceans. So, while centipedes are not technically insects, they are closely related. Read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
Centipedes are elongated metamorphic animals with one pair of legs per body segment. Most centipedes have 15 to 30 pairs of legs, but the number can range from as few as 10 pairs to as many as 191 pairs. They also have a pair of venomous fangs that they use to inject prey with venom.
Centipedes are predators and mainly eat small insects and spiders. They live in a variety of habitats, including gardens, forests, grasslands, and deserts. Centipedes are nocturnal animals and are mostly active at night.
Insects are also elongated animals with three pairs of legs per body segment. They have two pairs of wings (except for earwigs, which have no wings) and their bodies are divided into three sections: the head, thorax, and abdomen.
Like centipedes, insects are predators and mainly eat small insects and spiders. They live in a variety habitats all over the world and come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. Insects are also mostly active at night.
Centipedes and insects may look similar, but they actually belong to different groups of animals. Centipedes are arthropods while insects are hexapods—six-legged creatures that include ants, bees, beetles, flies, mosquitos, and more. However, both centipede and insect species play important roles in their respective ecosystems by preying on other small animals for food.