Millipedes of North America

go to Florida millipede Chicobolus spinigerus Ivory millipede

The Ivory millipede is among the fastest growing giant millipedes and can grow from hatching to adult in a year and a half. The specimen pictured is from an island off of Florida where it is common. The mainland form has more brown/salmon on the underside and legs and can be found throughout much of the Eastern US.

go to pink millipedeNarceus americanus Pink millipede

 Each individual of this species can range from very brightly pink -red on the legs and between each segment to light pink. Some of the males, especially, can be very striking. Unfortunately it takes at least 3 years to reach the adult length of over 100mm.

go to Peurto Rican millipedeAnadenobolus arboreus gundlachi Orange spotted millipede 

Although stretching the definition of "US" millipedes since it is found in Puerto Rico (a commonwealth), the Orange spotted millipede is one of the prettiest of the millipedes. A large specimen may measure in at 4in. (100mm) and females readily lay eggs in captivity. Karsch (1881) recognized two other subspecies of arboreus on the basis of color and geography.

go to Texas millipede Orthoporus ornatus 'pumpkin' millipede

 Orthoporus are the longest of the U.S. millipedes at up to six inches although thinner than a large pink or ivory millipede. These like a dryer environment- still moist but not wet- but otherwise enjoy the same foods and care. 

go to Kentucky millipede Apheloria sp. Kentucky flat millipede.

 Among the most beautiful of the many US polydesmids. This flat millipede is quicker than the round millipedes but still eats the same foods including rotten wood, dead leaves, and dry dog food. Adults are two inches long and half an inch wide. 

go to Tennessee flat millipede Tennessee flat millipede.

 Another of the colorful large polydesmid species. This species is easily kept in captivity and lives a long time. Adults can be close to three inches long. 

US Giant Centipedes (Chilopods)

go to Scolopendra polymorpha. Scolopendra polymorpha

 This is one of the giant species of U.S. centipedes (chilopods). Although not as large as the following species, this spectacular creature can grow to nearly five inches and as big around as a pinky finger. S.polymorpha is probably the most commonly available and commonly kept centipede in US collections.

go to Scolopendra heros. Scolopendra heros arizonensis

 This is the largest native US centipede, it reaches eight inches in trunk length and rivals all but the largest exotics. The animal is extremely active and devours other insects, small lizards, and tiny mammals. Although it is not as big as S. gigantea, S. heros is extremely colorful. There are various color forms. 

Arachnid Natives: USA

go to A. anax Aphonopelma anax Texas tan Tarantula

 A. anax is one of the largest tarantulas from the US yet is usually very calm and a great pet. Female Texas tans live twenty five or more years in captivity. As with other tarantulas, crickets and Lobster roaches are loved foods.

go to A. chalcoides Aphonopelma chalcodes Blonde Tarantula

 This hairy creature is one of the most sought after of the U.S. species of tarantulas. A very pretty species despite lacking bright metallic colors. Adult females live a long time and are usually not too aggressive.

go to A. eutylenum Aphonopelma eutylenum California woods tarantula

 C. longitarsus is a medium/small sized tarantula with hairy longs legs and a span of nearly three and a half inches. As with most tarantulas, this species hunts down small insects like crickets and chews them up. This species is only found in CA, USA. 

go to A. aurantiaArgiope aurantia Black and yellow Argiope

 This giant orb weaving spider is found throughout North America but becomes less common the further North in its range. Giant, silvery, perfectly geometric webs are woven by these huge web spinners to catch all sorts of flying insects. In captivity is is necessary to either throw crickets into the web, which usually wiggle free, or feed live flies or moths. These spiders will not hunt and catch animals no matter how hungry they become. 

go to N. clavipesNephila clavipes Golden-silk spider

 By far the biggest of all the web spinning spiders in the US. The leg span of this monster can be over four inches. The silk produced is a strong yellow or golden color and the massive webs which can reach over five feet across are tough enough to catch giant katydids and grasshoppers. As with all the giant web spinners the males are tiny in comparison to the female and more resemble a house spider. Females produce three to five egg cases the size of a marble which hatch after three months at room temp. Young are cannibalistic and easy to rear but as with other web spinners it is necessary to feed them flying fruit flies and not wingless flies. 

go to Jumping SpiderRed-striped Jumping spider

Jumping or Crab Spiders are certainly the most colorful or our spiders. Some are metallic blue, orange, green, or even red like this one. This individual is a female and much more colorful than the tiny male. If you look closely, you can see she is feeding on a cockroach.

go to Tarantulus sp.Phrynus marginemaculata Black Tailless whipscorpion

 The amblypigids have got to be the neatest of the arachnids: they run like sally-light foot crabs, they are not poisonous, and the strange antenna-like front legs fold and unfold at will. They actually walk sideways instead of forwards. The first set of legs are very elongated and are used as feelers. Females of this sp. glue pea-green eggs to the underside of their abdomen and hold them until they hatch. To see female with hatchlings click here

go to Paraphrynus sp.Paraphrynus sp. Red-brown Tailless whipscorpion

 Unlike the above species which is found throughout the Southern US, this species is only from South Texas to Mexico. Adults are near impossible to catch as they live in desert areas on rock faces and as soon as they hide they cannot be caught without the use of dynamite. Also, they are very very fast. This Paraphrynus sp. is 25% larger than the above species and the legs and pedipalps are larger in comparison to the body. 

go to H. arizonensisHadrurus arizonensis Giant Desert Hairy scorpion

 H. arizonensis is a very pretty scorpion with many specimens having lemon yellow appendages. Also, the Desert Hairy is the largest U.S. species and can attain a length of 5 inches (127mm)! Females are live bearing. 

go to C.gracilis Centruroides gracilis Florida bark scorpion

 The Bark scorpion is a very thin and dark scorpion which I have never seen in the wild despite collecting often in Florida (just a ton of black widows and tiny yellow scorpions). Females carry around young nymphs on their backs.

go to U. mordaxUroctonus mordax Northwest forest scorpion

 Although not one of the larger species, U. mordax has larger (fatter) claws than many of the US species. This docile animal can be kept together with others of its species even if the largest is many times the size of the smallest.

go to V. spinigerisVaejovis spinigeris Stripe tailed scorpion

 V. spinigeris is a very nice scorpion from the Southwest. Adults feed well on full grown crickets and live a few years. The adults are much larger than Uroctonus.

go to M. giganteusgo to M. giganteus Mastigoproctus giganteus Vinegaroon

 The vinegaroons are probably one of the weirdest creatures on the planet. These critters use their front legs and "tail" as feelers and squirt out actual vinegar as a defense against predators. I have smelled many stink bugs, stink beetles, defensive smells of walkingsticks, etc. ,however, only the vinegaroon makes me wonder if it would taste as good as vinegar and oil potato chips when I am really hungry. Like other arachnids the vinegaroon eats other arthropods as food but is a little shy while eating.

go to Solpugid Femalego to Solpugid Male Eremobates sp. Giant Sunspider

 This incredible monster hails from Southern Texas and females are over two inches long. Solpugid feeding is amazing as their strange mouthparts are used to eat animals outside of the mouth with only liquids making it inside and the rest being discarded without ever having entered the mouth. The longish forelegs shoot out a white "foot" which sticks to anything and is used in the capture of prey. Unfortunately adults do not live long. Click here for a photo of a female carrying eggs which can be seen through the abdomen. 

Arthropod links


American Tarantula Society

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