Myriapods


I was looking for moths under a lighted signboard when I spotted this big centipede (mukade) sucking the life out of a small moth. It seemed like I had just missed the moment of capture. I would have liked to watch how the centipede sneaked up on its prey.

Centipede with preyCentipede with preyCentipede with prey

Phylum: Arthropoda; Subphylum: Myriapoda; Class: Chilopoda
Scolopendra subspinipes = tobi-mukade (large centipede)

Location: Signboard near Fukuoka University of Education

I was looking for beetles under the bark of a rotten tree when this long-legged centipede ran out = quite a surprise! I guessed it was harmless enough so I caught it and took a few photos. Later found out that it is sometimes known as a house centipede (geji) and some people regard them as beneficial creatures because they eat things like cockroach nymphs. However, with its long legs and high speed, I think most people would try to squash it if they saw one in their house!!
Thereuonema tuberculataThereuonema tuberculataThereuonema tuberculataThereuonema tuberculata

Myriapoda: Chilopoda
Scutigeridae
Thereuonema tuberculata
(geji)

It’s much better to encounter these huge centipedes (mukade) outdoors than inside the house! They are amazing creatures and I love watching the way their legs move in waves, but inside the house there is always the fear that I’m going to make a mistake when trying to catch one and it’s going to find somewhere to hide, then come out at night… The bite of these things is supposed to be horrendous.

This one was a reasonable size at 12cm long, but I’ve seen much bigger ones. I like the photo of it turning, showing the underside of its head with the huge poison claws (= modified front legs). Also, although (or because) it’s blurred, I like the photo of the centipede in motion – they do move pretty fast!

Scolopendra subspinipesScolopendra subspinipesScolopendra subspinipesScolopendra subspinipesScolopendra subspinipesScolopendra subspinipes

Large centipede = tobi-mukade
Phylum: Arthropoda; Subphylum: Myriapoda; Class: Chilopoda
Scolopendra subspinipes