Florida Blue Centipede

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Florida Blue Centipede

(Hemiscolopendra marginata)


Arthropoda » Myriapoda » Chilopoda » Scolopendromorpha » Scolopendridae » Hemiscolopendra » Florida Blue Centipede 

Physical Description

The Florida Blue Centipede is an aggressive arthropod that is not particularly likeable from which we have come to conclude from several testimonials. They have received their name due to their blue-ish grey color and give a very hurtful bite when threatened. Though the prefix ‘centi’ means one hundred, it is unpredictable as to how many legs they actually have because of other important factors such as species, size, habitat, and predators. They also possess pincher-like fangs with poison ducts, a pair of antennae, and ocelli which are like light receptors [source]. 

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Credit: Erin Elaine Warner

Centipede Size & Location

This species of centipede will normally never reach over 3 inches once matured. This particular arthropod ranges from the southern United States but is more specifically found in the south eastern states. It seems as though this centipede likes the warmer weather and mulchy, rich soil that comes with this region. It prefers to bury itself under logs, roots, large rocks and other similar places that retain moisture. Because the centipede is nocturnal, it will hide in these places during the day to stay safe from a majority of its predators which are diurnal (which means coming out by day). During the night is when it travels and hunts the most [source].

Prey & Predators

The Florida Blue Centipede normally preys on smaller arthropods, crickets, earthworms, nematodes, slugs, snails, spiders, termites, and other small critters. Its predators include birds, other centipedes, mammals, larger spiders, toads, and perhaps more.

Harmful to Humans?

A bite  from this centipede will definitely hurt without a doubt. It has been compared to a bee sting in many cases (when it comes to pain), but the good news is that it's not medically significant to humans. However, if a centipede was to bite an infant or small child, it would be best to take all roads of precaution such as Benadryl for the reaction and a very soon doctor’s visit just to be on the safe side (but we at PestPro are merely giving general advice that should be overrode if a doctor advises differently). Even an adult with allergic reactions to bee stings should call their doctor for advice on what to do as well. But generally, anyone who can handle a bee sting can handle the discomfort of  a centipede bite as well. Centipedes bite when they feel endangered or harmed. Not only can centipedes bite, but they can also penetrate human skin with their clawlike legs. There are toxins produced at the base of each leg which can drop into the wound and irritate it furthermore. Centipedes sound like they could be a bad thing, but as long as they are not in your home and are outside, they are doing us a much needed service of maintaining our common garden and yard pests. Nevertheless, we have inserted the centipede as one of the top biting arthropods in our infographic

Why are they in my house?

These type of insects tend to pop up in our home after a mass amount of precipitation. In other words, they are trying to find higher and drier ground compared to their overflooded soil at the moment. They instinctively head for our bedding and clothing to stay hidden so keep your eyes out if your house has a tendency to accompany one or two a year. Another reason they may be invading your home is because they have found entry points that need to be sealed. These type of "bugs" are good indicators that your home needs better sealing from the outside world. 


The females will lay around sixty eggs in a hole they have buried. They will normally stick around and care for the eggs all the way through the hatching stage. After being hatched, nymphs look like immature little centipedes that through several molts will slowly but surely gain their mature size.

Other Names

Hemiscolopendra marginata