|Copyright: kapil koltharkar (kapildk)
|Date Taken: 2013-12-08|
|Camera: Nikon coolpix L110|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2014-01-12 9:50|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Scutigera coleoptrata – one of several species commonly known as the house centipede – is a typically yellowish-grey centipede with up to 15 pairs of legs. Originating in the Mediterranean region, the species has spread to other parts of the world, where it can live in human homes. It is an insectivore; it kills and eats other arthropods, such as insects and arachnids.|
The body of an adult S. coleoptrata is 25 mm (1 in) to 35 mm (1.5 in) in length. Up to 15 pairs of long legs are attached to the rigid body. Together with the antennae they give the centipede an appearance of being 75 mm (3 in) to 100 mm (4 in) in length. The delicate legs enable it to reach surprising speeds of up to 0.4 meters per second (1.3 ft/s) running across floors, up walls and along ceilings. Its body is yellowish-grey and has three dark dorsal stripes running down its length; the legs also have dark stripes. Unlike most other centipedes, house centipedes and their close relatives have well-developed faceted eyes. S. coleoptrata has developed automimicry in that its hind legs present the appearance of antennae. When the centipede is at rest, it is not easy to tell its front from its back.
Reproduction and development:
House centipedes lay their eggs in spring. In a laboratory observation of 24 house centipedes, an average of 63 and a maximum of 151 eggs were laid. As with many other arthropods, the larvae look like miniature versions of the adult, albeit with fewer legs. Young centipedes have four pairs of legs when they are hatched. They gain a new pair with the first molting, and two pairs with each of their five subsequent moltings. Adults with 15 pairs of legs retain that number through three more molting stages (sequence 4-5-7-9-11-13-15-15-15-15 pairs). They live anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the environment. They can start breeding in their third year. To begin mating, the male and female circle around each other. They initiate contact with their antennae. The male deposits his sperm on the ground and the female then uses it to fertilize her eggs.
Behavior and ecology:
Closeup of the head showing modified legs
House centipedes feed on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, and other household arthropods. They administer venom through modified legs. These are not part of their mandibles, so strictly speaking they sting rather than bite. They are mostly nocturnal hunters. Despite their developed eyes they seem to rely mostly on their antennae when hunting. Their antennae are sensitive to both smells and tactile information. They use both their mandibles and their legs for holding prey. This way they can deal with several small insects at the same time. To capture prey they either jump onto it or use their legs in a technique described as "lassoing". Using their legs to beat prey has also been described. In a feeding study, S. coleoptrata showed the ability to distinguish between possible prey. They avoid dangerous insects. They also adapted their feeding pattern to the hazard the prey might pose to them. For wasps, they retreat after applying the venom to give it time to take effect. When the centipede is in danger of becoming prey itself, it can detach any legs that have become trapped. House centipedes have been observed to groom their legs by curling around and grooming them with their forcipules.
In 1902, C. L. Marlatt, an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture wrote a brief description of the house centipede:
It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements.
Miss_Piggy, anel has marked this note useful
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Thanks for sharing this image of a very interesting creature which I have not yet seen before and which I am sure I would not like to come across at night time and it really looks as if it is something that has escaped from out a Sci-Fi movie. The patterns on its body is remarkable and truly eye-catching. Best regards.
- [2014-01-12 10:43]
Hi Kapil,great capture on the ground of this interesting specie not often seen on Tn,I like the point of view and the very bright details and colors.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano
After a long gap you come with a beautiful image of a centipede.
Good clarity and colour.
The PoV is also nice.
- [2014-01-13 5:35]
Interesting species, but I'm sure I wouldn't like to have it on my walls..
Thanks for this posting showing this Centipede with 15 pair of legs :-). good note too.
- [2014-01-13 5:56]
Oh..very good and strange species..so many legs well shown in this fine composition. tfs.
nice to see this insect again on TN
this one is a beauty with beautiful colours
the sharpness is super good
i have find this specie in Greece and also post on TN
thanks greeting lou