Photographed by Harvard University, Dept. of Environmental Health and Safety entomologist/environmental biologist, Dr. Gary Alpert, this 2006 image depicted a dorsoposterior view of a common house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata. You'll note that a number of its legs are missing. However, these appendages may easily be detached if grasped by an enemy, and will continue to wriggle, in order to distract predators. Each segment of a centipede's body possesses a single pair of legs. Emanating from the head is a pair of sensorial antennae, and its three pairs of mouthparts, consisting of paired mandibulae with teeth, maxillae, and palps. Located behind its head, this arthropod's first pair of legs has evolved into a pair of fangs. Although a rare occurrence, when it does bite its victims, the centipede ejects its venom, which is not generally toxic, although it may cause extreme pain to humans.
CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert
June 9, 2012