Centipedes' Reproductive Cycle

Centipedes do not undergo a process of metamorphosis, though their young may pass through several molts during growth. Centipedes mate in warm months and stay dormant through winter. A centipede may live up to six years.

The centipede reproductive cycle involves distinct rituals. The female centipede first releases pheromones to attract a male, who, in some species, then weaves a silk pad deposited with sperm, known as a spermatophore. The spermatophore is either left for her to find and take up or is brought to her attention via a courtship dance, during which the male taps the female's posterior legs with his antennae. Typical indoor centipede's reproductive cycle produces up to 35 eggs. Other species of centipedes give birth to living young.

Centipedes lay their eggs in the hollows of rotting logs or in the soil. Most females will tend to their eggs and hatchlings, curling their bodies around their brood for protection. In addition, eggs are prone to the growth of fungi and require grooming to ensure that they reach adulthood. However, some species may abandon or eat their eggs.

Upon hatching, many centipede young have fewer pairs of legs than the adults and acquire the additional body segments and legs each time they molt. Because centipedes have outer skeletons, they must undergo a series of molts, shedding their exteriors. However, the hatchlings of the Scolopendromorphae and Geophilomorphae are born with a complete set of legs.

Resources

Dig Deeper on Centipedes

There are bugs in my bathroom sink with many legs

Centipede Eggs

Centipedes in the Bathroom

Centipedes' Reproductive Cycle

What Do Centipedes Eat?

What Attracts Centipedes Indoors?

Are House Centipedes Dangerous?

How do I control house centipedes?

Q

I have centipedes in my house. Can these be controlled?

I have centipede bugs in my home

Q

Does anything kill them and keep them from coming back?

How to Identify Centipede Bites

Connect with Us

Our customer care team is available for you 24 hours a day.

877-819-5061

Find a Branch

Our local technicians are the pest experts in your area.

Get a Personalized Quote

We will help you find the right treatment plan for your home.

Home is where the bugs aren't™

SERVICES

Pest ControlTermite ControlPrevent and Protect

PEST LIBRARY

Browse All Pests

© 2021 Orkin LLC

Terms of UsePrivacyAccessibility StatementCareers