“This critter was found on the top edge of a shower tile, where it meets the drywall” states this reader about the pink, segmented creature below. Our reader asks if this is a centipede larva, and we will do our best to answer him.
The shower the creature was found on was in our reader’s finished basement in his Arkansas home. As such, he has “seen many millipedes and centipedes.” He adds that he does not think that this critter is a beetle larva, because of the number of legs this organism possesses. At first, he thought it might be a flatworm “with stubby cilia”, as he could not see the creature’s legs at all when it was moving.
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Now, we are not entirely sure what our reader means when he writes “stubby cilia”. Cilia refers to an organelle found in eukaryotic cells, so they are microscopic. In any case, we understand how our reader first thought this might be a flatworm. And it is the fact that the legs were not visible that hints at what this creature is: not a centipede, but a millipede. To be specific, we think this millipede belongs to the genus Brachycybe.
Unlike a centipede, whose legs jut out from the sides of its body, a millipede’s legs grow from the underside of its body. For that reason, when they walk, it can often appear as though they are simply gliding over a surface with no legs.
Likewise, unlike the centipede, the millipede does not sting animals or people, so our reader needs not fear for his safety in that regard. With that said, the millipede is still able to secrete a toxin that can cause mild irritation and/or stinging upon contact with skin, so we still advise that our reader use caution if and when handling the millipede. We suggest wearing gardening gloves and/or using a dustpan when moving the millipede outside.
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On that note, we think that moving the millipede outside should suffice in dealing with this intrusion, provided that our reader does not find more millipedes in his home. Of course, he should check his home for more roaming millipedes, but should he not find any, then he is good to go. This millipede’s appearance in our reader’s home is likely accidental. As he said, he has seen many millipedes and centipedes alike.
To conclude, the creature our reader found in his shower is a millipede. We hope this article answered his question to a satisfactory degree, and we wish him the best.