A reader just reached out to us from Lafayette, Louisiana. She found an interesting worm-like organism on her bathroom floor. She described the specimen as being 2-3 inches long. This is the photo she shared with us:
The specimen is long, skinny, and has a segmented body. The anterior and posterior segments are yellow, and the middle segments are black or dark brown. The organism has a two long yellow tail-like appendages on its posterior end, and two small yellow antennae on its anterior end. The creature in question also has a lot of legs! These legs are a huge hint as to what this specimen is. We believe our reader has discovered a centipede.
Centipedes are actually arthropods, not worms. These elongated creatures have one pairs of legs per body segment. Centipedes are often mistaken for millipedes, which are also arthropods. However, millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment. Centipedes are distributed throughout all regions of the world, and there are about 3,000 known species around the globe. Centipedes are usually red or brown, but some species have bright colors as well. Since there are so many species of centipedes, there is a lot of size variation. Some are only a few millimeters long, while others might grow to be a foot long!
These arthropods are primarily nocturnal, which means they are active at night. They prefer moist environments because they can easily lose water through their skin and dry out. Centipedes are predators that feed on a wide variety of prey including slugs, earthworms, spiders, and other small animals. Some species are highly venomous.
In summary, a reader discovered a creature in her bathroom. We believe it is a centipede! We aren’t sure which species of centipede our reader has discovered. However, if she wants to make her bathroom less hospitable to these arthropods, we recommend installing a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture levels.