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Posted in Interesting Worms

Legs, Prolegs, and Worms

We answer a lot of questions from readers that go something like this: “what kind of worm is brown [or black, red, etc.] with lots of legs?” or “how do I get rid of the worms with small legs in my garage [or basement, shed, etc.]?” In response to such questions, one of the first things we must say is that if you are finding a creature with legs, you aren’t finding (or hoping to get rid of) a worm. Rather, you are probably finding some type of larva (very often a caterpillar) or millipede, which can have legs and prolegs, and the latter aren’t even legs. (That is, they aren’t so-called “true legs.”) All of this can quickly get confusing: people think they are finding worms with legs, but often the creature technically has prolegs (not only legs), and in any case it isn’t a worm. To help get this all straight, we decided to explain legs and prolegs, while simultaneously pointing out that worms have neither (even though they can have bristles on their bodies that are kind of like legs).