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The Differences Millipede vs Silverfish

When it comes to household pests, millipedes and silverfish are two common insects that may cause concern for homeowners. Despite some superficial similarities, they belong to different taxonomic groups and exhibit distinct behaviors, appearances, and habitats.

Anatomy and Appearance


How many legs does a silverfish have ? millipede vs silverfish are elongated, worm-like arthropods belonging to the class Diplopoda. They are characterized by their numerous legs, with each body segment typically bearing two pairs of legs, although this can vary depending on the species. Their bodies are cylindrical and segmented, often appearing rounded or slightly flattened.


Silverfish, scientifically known as Lepisma saccharina, are wingless insects belonging to the order Zygentoma. They have a distinctive carrot-shaped body covered in shiny silver scales, giving them their name. Unlike millipedes, silverfish have a segmented body but do not possess as many legs. They have three long bristles at the rear of their bodies, known as cerci.

Behavior and Habitat


millipede vs silverfish are primarily detritivores, feeding on decaying organic matter such as leaves and wood. They are commonly found in damp, dark environments such as under rocks, logs, and mulch. Millipedes are mostly nocturnal and tend to avoid light, seeking shelter during the day.


Silverfish are nocturnal insects that prefer dark, humid environments. They are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and other areas with high humidity levels. Get rid of silvervish feed on a variety of substances, including starches, cellulose, and protein-rich materials like dead insects and book bindings.

Are Silverfish Centipedes?

Despite the confusion caused by their name, silverfish are not centipedes. silver centipede belong to the class Chilopoda and are characterized by their flattened bodies and a pair of legs per body segment. In contrast, baby silver fish belong to the order Zygentoma and have a different body structure and behavior.

House Centipede vs Silverfish: Key Differences

House Centipede:

House centipedes, also known as Scutigera coleoptrata, are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda. They have long, flattened bodies with numerous legs, typically ranging from 15 to 177 pairs. House centipede silverfish bug have distinctive banded legs and are known for their swift movements.


Silverfish, as mentioned earlier, belong to the order Zygentoma and have a carrot-shaped body covered in shiny silver scales. Unlike house centipedes, silverfish have fewer legs, usually ranging from six to twelve pairs. They move in a characteristic wriggling motion and are not as fast as house silver centipede looking bug.

How Many Legs Do Silverfish Have?

Silverfish typically have six legs as adults, although they may have more during their early developmental stages. Unlike millipedes and centipedes, which have a pair of legs per body segment, silverfish have a consistent number of legs throughout their life cycle.

Millipede vs Centipede vs Silverfish: A Comparative Analysis

silver millipede, gray centipede looking bug, and silverfish are often confused due to their similar appearances and habitats. However, they belong to different taxonomic groups and exhibit distinct characteristics:

  • Millipedes: Elongated, worm-like arthropods with numerous legs and a cylindrical body. Primarily detritivores found in damp environments.
  • silverfish vs centipede : Flattened arthropods with a pair of silverfish with lots of legs per body segment. They are carnivorous predators that hunt at night and are known for their speed and agility.
  • Silverfish: Wingless insects with a carrot-shaped body covered in shiny silver scales. They have fewer legs compared to millipedes and centipedes and are primarily scavengers.

Silverfish Limbs: Understanding Their Anatomy

Silverfish have six legs as adults, which are located near the front of their body. These legs are relatively short compared to those of centipedes and are used primarily for locomotion. In addition to their legs, silverfish also have three long bristles at the rear of their body, known as cerci, which aid in sensory perception and navigation.

Silverfish House Centipede Bite: Myth or Reality?

There is a common misconception that silverfish and house silverback centipede are capable of biting humans. However, neither of these insects poses a significant threat to humans. While house silverfish or centipede are carnivorous and may prey on other household pests, they do not typically bite humans unless provoked or handled. Similarly, silverfish are not known to bite humans and are considered harmless nuisance pests.

Silverfish vs Thousand Legger: Clarifying the Terminology

The term “thousand legger” is often used colloquially to refer to silverfish house millipede due to their numerous legs. However, it is important to note that silverfish millipede do not actually have a thousand legs; the number of legs varies depending on the species, with most species having far fewer than a silverfish thousand legger. Silverfish, on the other hand, have a consistent number of legs throughout their life cycle, typically ranging from six to twelve pairs.


The silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) is a species of small, primitive, wingless insect in the order Zygentoma (formerly Thysanura). Its common name derives from the insect’s silvery light grey colour, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements. The scientific name (L. saccharinum) indicates that the silverfish’s diet consists of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches. While the common name silverfish is used throughout the global literature to refer to various species of Zygentoma, the Entomological Society of America restricts use of the term solely for Lepisma saccharinum.

Millipedes (originating from the Latin mille, “thousand”, and pes, “foot”) are a group of arthropods that are characterised by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments; they are known scientifically as the class Diplopoda, the name derived from this feature. Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a tight ball. Although the name “millipede” derives from Latin for “thousand feet”, no species was known to have 1,000 or more until the discovery in 2020 of Eumillipes persephone, which can have over 1,300 legs. There are approximately 12,000 named species classified into 16 orders and around 140 families, making Diplopoda the largest class of myriapods, an arthropod group which also includes centipedes and other multi-legged creatures.

In summary, while millipedes, silver centipede like bug, and silverfish may share some superficial similarities, they are distinct species with different anatomical features, behaviors, and habitats. Understanding these differences is essential for effective pest management and identification. If you encounter any of these insects in your home, it is advisable to consult with a best pest control professional for proper identification and treatment options.

For further information on pest control service las vegas and prevention, you can visit americanpestcontrol.com, where you can find resources and tips for managing common household pests.

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