Myriapods – Entomology

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Myriapods are arthropods with elongated bodies. The head carries the antennae and is followed by several segments which each support either one or two pairs of legs. This order includes in particular the millipedes or centipedes (Diplopods) and the centipedes or centipedes (Chilopods).

What are the differences between millipedes and centipedes?

Millipedes have a body that is often cylindrical and divided into segments. Most segments have two pairs of short legs. Despite their common name, the greatest number of legs in a species is 750. They are usually dark in color. The vast majority of these scavengers feed on plant debris and are harmless. They live under leaves, stones and rotten tree trunks.

The body of centipedes is also segmented, but it is more or less flattened and has only one pair of legs per segment. Centipedes have long, strong legs, which allow them to move quickly. The number of legs is very variable (from about thirty to more than 350). Like millipeds, centipedes like damp shelters and are common in gardens. Among centipedes, the fastest species are those with the fewest legs.

Centipedes are active predators with venom hooks; modified legs called “forcipules” which they use to paralyze their prey. Located under the body, these hooks, from which the venom that is used to paralyze prey flows, cover the mouthparts. The venom contains various active substances, including histamine and acetylcholine. There are also various enzymes, some of which are responsible for the pain caused when injecting the venom.

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