“Found this in my pool this morning”, states this reader concerning the yellow creature below. The organism in question has antennae, a brown head, and multiple legs running the length of its body.
“It moves like a snake not a worm”, he continues. “At first I thought it was a Brahminy Blind Snake, but it has “feelers” on its head. I think it’s a little washed out because it was in the pool a while. I’m in Punta Gorda, Florida.”
The feelers he is referring to are actually antennae, and the creature he found is a centipede. Centipedes are predatory arthropods, not to be confused with the millipede. Both creatures have a multitude of legs, and are arthropods (meaning they possess hard ‘shells’ that protect their segmented bodies, and they have pairs of legs joined at each segment), but centipedes’ legs grow from the sides of their bodies, while millipedes’ legs grow from their undersides.
Centipedes of this size are harmless to humans. The worst they can do is sting you with the pincers at the front of their heads (called forcipules) if they feel threatened. In fact, having centipedes in one’s home is more beneficial than keeping spiders around. They prey on all the same insects (flies, mites, moths, and more), but they do not leave any webbing behind.
That said, there are much larger centipedes in other corners of the world, such as the Amazonian giant centipede found in South America. This species in particular is far more dangerous to humans, as their sting can cause incredible pain. These centipedes also prey on more than just insects: the Amazonian giant centipede has been known to hunt toads, lizards, and mice. You don’t want to mess with these guys!
Like all organisms, centipedes play an important part in our ecosystem. They prey on a lot of underground pests and aerate soil systems via the tunnels they make when burrowing through the ground. So, we recommend that our reader just leave the creature outside on the grass somewhere. It likely ended up in the pool by accident.
To conclude, the organism our reader found is a centipede. We hope he finds this article informative and helpful, and we wish him the very best.
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