Rubber Bug Collecting: Chilopoda
With their rippling, clawed legs, lightning-fast reflexes and painfully venomous bite, even
your average scorpion hobbyist may show reluctance in handling a centipede. It comes as
no surprise that while centipedes aren't quite as famous as spiders, they are even more
violently feared by those familiar with them. Japanese folklore tells tales of a monstrous
centipede that terrorized even the mightiest dragons, and a gargantuan centipede even
stars in its own famous arcade game - the name of which
completely escapes me.

Though they don't come in nearly as many varieties, centipedes are the most
commonly-seen rubber bug after spiders, and are included in virtually all rubber-bug
Another standard, these are half the length of
the classic to the left and are nearly always cast
in a single, solid color.
Here we have a very old, very small, almost
pitiful model that crops up from time to time in
vending machines. The head is also a suction
cup, and these are usually made from
glow-in-the-dark rubber.
I have no idea where I got this cool-looking
'pede, but I used to have it in two different sizes.
The dirt between its segments is actually potter's
clay; my family used to make a lot of sculptures
out of it, and I would press my rubber bugs in the
stuff to make my own "fossils." I haven't the
heart to clean it off.
The very best-looking little centipede I've got,
this came in a one-dollar jar of transparent slime.
To make this page even dorkier than it needs to
be, I'll add that I've used this as a "Dungeons &
Dragons" miniature whenever my character
would conjure a giant centipede of his own.
This soft rubber centipede is over ten inches
long, and I just love its beady little eyes. I've
threaded these through torn clothing as part of a
Halloween costume.
With its blunt appendages and armored head,
this appears to be more millipede than a
centipede, which would actually make it a
Diplopod. Strict herbivores, millipedes are more
heavily armored but much slower and more
docile than centipedes. Many species can,
however, secrete poison when agitated.
This is another one with more millipede-like
features, namely a tubular body held up off the
ground by its short legs. The colors, head and
tail end are distinctly those of a centipede,
This colorful glow-in-the-dark specimen
demonstrates the oldest and most common
rubber centipede body types.
Another small one with a suction cup, but in a
MUCH nicer, realistic sculpt.
This awesome two-footer is made of flimsy,
hollow latex. It feels like it could easily tear, but
looks incredible! Interesting how nearly all
rubber centipedes are made in an "S" with the
head pointing in the same direction.
This cool little pede came in a small jar of slime
from Target, which was also where I found my
larger, more lifelike slime-pede above (fourth
from the top)