Centipedes and millipedes seem to get lumped together in a miscellaneous group, "critters that aren't insects or arachnids." Though both belong to the phylum Arthropoda, that's where the similarities end.
Centipedes belong to their own class – Chilopoda. The name originates from the Greek cheilos, meaning lip, and poda, meaning foot. The millipedes belong to a separate class, Diplopoda. Also from the Greek, Diplopoda means double foot.
Once you know the distinctions between centipedes and millipedes, you won't mix them up again.
Differences Between Centipedes and Millipedes
|Number of Legs||one pair per body segment||two pairs per body segment, except for the first three segments, which have one pair each|
|Appearance of Legs||visibly extend from sides of body; trail backward behind body||do not visibly extend from body; rear leg pairs in line with body|
|Movement||fast runners||slow walkers|
|Ability to Bite||can bite||do not bite|
|Feeding Habits||mostly predatory||mostly scavengers|