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|Amazonian Giant Centipede - Scolopendra gigantea|
|Topic Started: Jan 9 2012, 04:12 PM (1,044 Views)|
|Taipan||Jan 9 2012, 04:12 PM Post #1|
Amazonian Giant (Peruvian Giant Yellowleg) Centipede - Scolopendra gigantea
Species: Scolopendra gigantea
Scolopendra gigantea inhabits tropical and subtropical forests in northern South America.
Since they have no waxy covering on their cuticle, centipedes are limited to living in humid environments, and can usually be found in soil, leaf litter, or rotten wood.
Centipedes are dorsoventrally flattened, and their bodies are divided into well-marked segments, each of which is flattened. Each body segment has a pair of legs, which means that there is always an odd number of leg pairs ranging from 21 to 23. Their rear legs are spiny in order to ward off potential predators. The legs on the first body segment are modified into venom-bearing fangs called maxillipeds that centipedes use to hunt their food. They have mandibles, which are a modified pair of legs that end in a sharp claw into which a poison gland opens. The mandibles are used for seizing and killing prey. Centipedes have long, many-jointed antenna, simple or no eyes, and a head covered by a flat shield. Their brain is relatively large and connected with a ventral chain of ganglia. Their heart is a chambered dorsal vessel. Centipedes breath through openings called spiracles, which are located between the upper and lower chitinous shields and just behind the legs. They lead into tracheal chambers that then branch off to supply the various parts of the body with oxygen. Scolopendra gigantea has spiracles located at segments 4,6,8,11,13,15,17,19, and 21. Because of these openings, centipedes can lose a lot of water quickly and dehydration can occur. A normal lifespan for S. gigantea is about ten years, and this species can grow to be 12 inches long.
The difference of the sexes is hard to detect, even in adults. Because the male has no copulatory organs, he must spin a small silk pad and then deposit his sperm on it. Then, the female picks up the sperm and lays her eggs.
Because of their mode of breathing, Scolopendra gigantea must live in humid environments, such as the underside of rocks or in the soil. After her eggs are laid, the female of the species broods them until the hatchlings can get their own food.
Giant centipedes are voracious carnivores that feed on small invertebrates such as crickets, worms, snails and roaches, and can also eat lizards, toads and mice.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
The poison emitted by the bite of Scolopendra gigantea is strong enough to seriously wound a human.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Because they feed on many insects and other "pests," Scolopendra gigantea are valuable to gardeners and farmers in keeping the potential pest populations down. Also, centipedes in general are becoming popular terrarium pets.
IUCN Red List: Not Evaluated.
US Federal List: No special status.
CITES: No special status.
There is no indication that this species is in any way endangered.
Edited by Taipan, Sep 18 2012, 08:35 PM.
|Apex||Jan 10 2012, 05:01 AM Post #2|
||im glad you saved this profile taipian this is my favourite athropod and this thread is very imformative|
|Wild||Sep 18 2012, 09:15 AM Post #3|
Native Wildlife and Survival Skills enthusiast
You're correct someone please change this, that is an Indian tiger centipede (Scolopendra hardwickei) :
This is the Peruvian Yellow Leg Centipede:
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