Centipedes in Colorado

Centipedes are the Class Chilopoda, part of the Phylum Arthropoda.

A Centipede. A Centipede has one pair of legs per body segment, whereas the similar millipede has two pair of legs per body segment. According to Wikipedia, there are about 3,000 species that have been described and identified, and probably another 5,000 species. The first picture was taken 1 April 2008 in Colorado Springs, CO. It was less than 3/4" long. When I first looked at the centipede in the first picture, I thought it was a Millipede, since I could count twice the number of leg pairs as body segments.

But once I looked at some other centipedes, as in the second picture taken 4 August 2008, I could see that they have mostly alternating wide and narrow body segments, and counted that way, they have one leg pair per body segment, therefore they are centipedes, not millipedes.

Having 15 body segments with 15 pairs of legs pretty well narrows it down to the Genus Lithobius, Stone Centipedes, but there are over 300 species within that Genus. They are also known as Common Centipedes, or Brown Centipedes.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Myriapoda
Class: Chilopoda
Order: Lithobiomorpha
Family: Lithobiidae
Genus: Lithobius (Stone centipedes)