We just received a very interesting and entertaining message from one of our readers in Bloomington, Indiana. He explained that his cat, Scooby (whose photo is featured on this article), discovered this scary looking worm-like organism in his dining room:
We edited his message down a bit, but have decided to share the bulk of it because it is so informative: “My home is a single family, two-story house on a concrete slab foundation built on soil that is just about 100% red clay. We do have a medium-sized flower bed that runs the length of our (concrete) front porch. The flower bed is edged with stone, filled with top soil and mulch, and is home to a few hostas, tiger lilies, and dianthus. This little bugger was approximately 2 inches long and continued to wriggle and crawl after I picked it up. I checked your site, and I think my critter may be the same as or similar to the ones discussed in your Earthworm with Feelers? and Semi-Transparent Worm with Spots is a Millipede articles. From the images I’ve found on Google, my best guess is that this critter is a ‘soil centipede’, a creature you discussed in your Millipedes, Centipedes, and Intricate Tree Damage article. The image in this post also lacked enough detail for you to make a definite identification, and I can’t tell either whether it matches my critter.”
We are confident that our reader has discovered a centipede! There are an estimated 8,000 species of centipedes worldwide. We agree with our reader that this specimen resembles a soil centipede! Soil centipedes range in size from less than an inch to more than 7 inches long, and have somewhere between 27 and 191 pairs of legs! Unlike some other species of centipedes, soil centipedes are completely harmless. We think this centipede probably wandered in from the flower beds in our reader’s yard.
In conclusion, we just heard from a reader whose heroic cat discovered a leggy creature in his dining room. We believe this is a soil centipede, and we believe that Scooby is one cute kitty!
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