Common Centipedes

Common Centipede, Vancouver Island, BC
Common Centipede, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

The common centipede that lives in the Pacific Northwest is a brownish red in color with long antennae at the front and a pair of long legs at the back that reach out almost as far as the antennae. The Common centipede can crawl backward almost as easily as it can crawl forwards. These centipedes are long, thin, and very fast. When full-grown, they can reach up to 5 cm long.

The Common centipede is found on all the BC coast, they can be found in your gardens, in the forests, and from the beach to the tree line. They are found at all times of year but are more active in the spring and fall.

Their body is quite flat which makes them ideally suited for hiding underneath rocks and fallen logs, this helps them to keep their bodies cool and moist and has the advantage of hiding them from predators. During the hot weather, common centipedes will often burrow into the moist soil to stay cool.

Common centipedes do not see very well,  instead, they use their antennae to sense prey and feel their way around. When they sense a meal, like a spider, or small insect, they can run down and pounce on their victim, using their modified legs as fangs and injecting venom into their prey to subdue it.

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