WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MILLIPEDE AND A CENTIPEDE?
Centipedes and millipedes often get lumped together as the same sort of creature ie. things that aren't insects or arachnids (spiders). While both millipedes and centipedes belong to the same overall family - Arthropods, that is pretty much where the similarities end.
Centipedes belong to their own class – Chilopoda. The name originates from the Greek cheilos, meaning lip, and podos, meaning foot. The millipedes belong to a separate class, Diplopoda. Also from the Greek, Diplopoda means double foot.
So, what are the differences between millipedes and centipedes? To find out, they are listed below:
1. Millipedes have short antennae.
2. Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment, except for the first three segments, which have one pair of legs each.
3. The legs of a millipede do not visibly extend from body and the rear leg pairs are in line with the body.
4. Millipedes are slow walkers
5. A Millipede will not bite you.
6. Millipedes are mostly scavengers that eat leaf litter and other vegetation.
1. Centipedes have long antennae.
2. Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment.
3. The legs of a centipede visibly extend from the sides of the body and trail backwards behind the body.
4.Centipedes are fast runners
5. A centipede has the capacity to bite and if you annoy it, it may well bite you!
6. Centipedes are mostly predatory creatures that will eat insects and other small arthropods.
One more thing!
Finally centipedes are 'carnivores' that have two modified legs known as maxillipeds which have large hollow claws that contain a venom gland, some species are quite poisonous. Millipedes are 'vegetarian' and do not have these, but instead can produce a foul smelling chemical to deter predators. This chemical can also act as an irritant.
What's in a name?
While the 'milli' part of the name millipede suggests that this creature possesses a thousand legs (mille is latin for thousand, hence millennium means a thousand years). In reality, a millipede doesn't have more than 750 legs.
Likewise, a centipede is supposed to have a hundred legs (from Latin prefix centi - meaning 'hundred'). Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300! Strangely, centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs, e.g. 15 or 17 pairs of legs (30 or 34 legs).
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