Centipedes In Oklahoma: Top Most Common Centipedes In The State

From the flattest centipede to the arthropod with the most painful bite in the world, centipedes in Oklahoma are quite special and deserve to be studied.

Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States and quite beautiful with attractive features, but what are the centipedes in Oklahoma? A lot of people have been meaning to discover the 6 unique species in the state.

The article below is what I was able to come up with after nights of thorough research!


Description of Centipedes in Oklahoma

Centipedes in Oklahoma resemble worms with legs, but they are actually arthropods. Below are bodily features that can help you identify centipedes in Oklahoma:

  • They have flat bodies.
  • They have long antennas on their head.
  • They have jaws that contain venomous glands.
    • Their jaw is located in the first segment of their body.
  • Their leg numbers vary from 10 to 100.
    • They have one pair of legs on each segment of their body.
  • Their body length measures about 1 to 15 inches, depending on the species.
  • Their colors include:
    • Dark brown
    • Yellowish brown, etc.


Read also: Centipedes In Virginia: The 4 Most Common Virginia Species


What are the 6 Types of Centipedes in Oklahoma?

  • Brown Centipedes:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the Brown Centipede In Oklahoma

The brown centipedes in Oklahoma can be identified by the following bodily features:

    • Their bodies are dark reddish-brown.
    • They usually measure about 0.7 to 1.1 inches in length.
    • They also have long pairs of antennae on their head and tail ends.
    • The head is bigger than other individual segments of the body, hence, making it easier to distinguish.
    • They have venomous fangs next to their heads.
    • When fully grown, their legs usually number 15 pairs.

Brown centipedes usually feed on the following:

    • Worms
    • Spiders
    • Flies
    • Slugs, etc.

These spiders are referred to as the ‘Gardeners Friend’, and this is because they do not consume plants, but rather feed on things that consume plants.

You will usually find them in the garden, tree barks, or even in compost heaps, where there will be other insect activities.

  • Eastern Red Centipede:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the Eastern Red Centipede

The eastern red centipede can be identified by its features, including the following:

    • It is uniformly red on its top surfaces, hence its name.
    • They often measure 2.5 inches in length.

These centipedes are capable of delivering painful bites that may not kill but will cause you some mild symptoms, especially if not handled as soon as possible.

The Easter red centipedes in Oklahoma usually feed on the following:

    • Spiders
    • Insects
    • Earthworms
    • Small centipedes, etc.

These centipedes are also known to be good hunters, as they are quite swift and agile. They also will not be found in the house since they prefer moist environments; hence, you may find them in the following places:

    • Under rocks
    • Stone
    • Wood
    • Flowerpots
    • Bark, etc.


Read also: Do House Centipedes Bite Humans?


  • House Centipede:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the House Centipede

The house centipedes in Oklahoma also have distinctive features, just like the other previously described centipedes. These features are the following:

    • They usually measure about 1 to 1.5 inches in length.
    • They have long pairs of antennae.
    • Their bodies are grayish-yellow.
      • They have 3 stripes running down their backs.
    • They have 15 pairs of legs.
    • They have round heads with clearly visible eyes.

From their names, most people would already think that they only live indoors. But that is not usually the case, as these centipedes in Oklahoma can be found both indoors and outdoors.

They prefer to dwell in moist and dark places, including:

    • Cellars
    • Bathrooms
    • Closets
    • Under firewood stacks
    • Behind baseboards, etc.
  • Soil Centipede:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the Soil Centipede

The soil centipedes are quite numerous in terms of species and cannot just be described as an individual species. Below are the general characteristics of the soil centipedes in Oklahoma:

    • Their legs number about 27 to 191 pairs.
    • Their bodies are white to reddish brown in color.
    • They have slim bodies that enable them to move freely through the soil.
    • They do not have eyes, but rather feel their way through the soil.
    • They are flatter than most centipede species in Oklahoma.
    • Their sizes range from 0.75 to 7.48 inches.
    • Their body movements are similar to that of earthworms.

These centipedes live in the soil of course and have no business coming into the house. In the soil, they will feed mainly on the following:

    • Earthworms
    • Insect larvae, etc.
  • Common Desert Centipede:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the Common Desert Centipede

The common desert centipedes in Oklahoma can be identified by the following features:

    • They have black stripes and pale orangey-brown bodies.
    • Their heads and tail tips have more orange coloration than other parts of the body.

Did you know that the common desert centipede holds the record for the most painful bite among other arthropods? Yes, that is right.

When they bite, the venom spreads across the bite area and increases the pain until treatment is administered. Their bites have been discovered to be more painful than a wasp sting.

Despite their cute colors, these centipedes are quite deadly, and contact with them must be avoided at all costs.

Although their bites do not kill, they can cause the death of your body tissue, as blood is not allowed to flow across to the tissue in the bite area.

There is still a good side to this dreadful arthropod, though. Do you know what it is? Well, if you don’t, then worry not, as I will drop it for you at the conclusion of this article.

  • Eastern Bark Centipede:
Centipedes In Oklahoma
Picture of the Eastern Bark Centipede

The Eastern bark centipedes in Oklahoma have body features that distinguish them from other centipedes. These features include the following:

  • Their bodies measure about 3 inches in length.
  • They have brownish-red heads.
  • They also have transparent yellow legs and antennae.

Did you know that the male and female species of this centipede have different venom toxins? Yes, it is true. In fact, they are the only centipedes in Oklahoma with this distinctive trait.

You must avoid a bite from these centipedes, as they are capable of causing the following bodily damage:

  • Female venoms break down cell membranes.
  • Male venoms obstruct bodily functions.


Read also: Termites In Oklahoma: Something Interesting About These 2 Termite Species


Are Centipedes In Oklahoma Poisonous?

Are centipedes in Oklahoma poisonous? The answer is yes and no. There are centipedes in Oklahoma whose poisons affect just insects that they prey on, while there are those whose venoms affect humans as well.

Most of the symptoms that may be encountered during a centipede bite include the following:

  • Swelling.
  • Redness of the bite area.
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Heart tremor, etc



The centipedes in Oklahoma are quite unique in their different ways, from their distinctive body features to their venomous fangs and even their habitats as well.

I promised to answer a question here. What is good about the venom of the common desert centipede? Well, Despite their bites being the most painful among other arthropods, they can combat certain human diseases, including E. coli.

What else do you know about the centipedes in Oklahoma? Do let us know via the comments section provided below!

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