What Does a Centipede Eat?


Quick Answer

Centipedes feed mainly on small animals and insects. Some centipede species are scavengers and feed on whatever decaying plant or animal material they can find. Giant centipedes in South America have been known to eat larger creatures, such as frogs, mice and snakes. Centipedes in homes tend to feed on insects, as well as cockroach egg cases. For this reason, some homeowners choose not to harm centipedes.

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Full Answer

Some centipedes can live as long as six years. Centipedes in tropical areas reproduce continually throughout the year. They have three life stages: the egg, the newly hatched nymph and the adult. Centipedes molt many times during their lives, and each time they molt, they gain more legs. This is why young centipedes usually have fewer legs than fully grown adults. Some centipede species eat their mothers after they're born. Some mother centipedes abandon or eat their eggs if the eggs are disturbed.

Some species of centipede are capable of inflicting a painful bite when they feel threatened. Other species have a defense mechanism that allows them to fling a sticky substance at predators. House-dwelling centipedes prefer to run away to avoid danger. Centipedes that live in the soil protect themselves from predators by curling up in a ball.

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