'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Big centipede


Here's one of the baby forty-two-ipedes we found when moving the pile of old fence palings.

And here's the big forty-two-ipede, just before N. whipped her fingers away -man, it moved fast!


Off it goes, down the crack.


10 comments:

  1. I guess you are not afraid of bugs! The back split in two Y shape is curious...I wonder what it is used for? You counted the number of these critters as they came out of the fence? Now that is curiousity! <3

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  2. Not the prettiest item through which to say 'Hello', even for a bug-ology sort of bloke!
    Love your range of blogging, though.
    Hope the garden room goes up well.

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  3. Good pedes, important to the food-chain and soil health. Great pictures.

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  4. *uggghhhhh!*

    thanks(?) for sharing, :-0

    ..
    .ero

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  5. By very weird coincidence, a tiny centipede ran across my desk as I read this post - - slightly worrying, because I'm indoors! No idea how it got here.

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  6. Urghh! As you know, I was planning to visit NZ but with such creepy crawlies around, now I am not so sure! Clearly you don't work for NZ Tourism Promotion Ltd.!

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  7. Some information for anyone who is interested... The big fella is Scolopendromorpha rubriceps, Genus: Cormocephalus, is predacious (eats insects and bugs). Native to NZ, can grow up to 250 mm (some sources say only 200 mm - that's 8 ins).

    This creature is an example of gigantism – a feature of many New Zealand native species. In the absence of mammals, large flightless invertebrates (such as wētā and centipedes) occupied the niche which in other land masses small mammals (such as mice and rats) exploited.

    I must be doing a great job of keepng rats away, as these beauties are preyed upon by rats, and thus do not live where there are rats. So as usual in NZ, the population of these is shrinking due to rats, and also as suitable habitats disappear.

    Apparently they can bite hard but aren't poisonous.

    The little orange one is not a baby of the big one, but of the Genus Cryptops

    For other NZ giants, visit here:
    http://www.terranature.org/gigantism.htm

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  8. Cynthia - I counted 42 legs, not 42 big centipedes! Brrrr! :o)
    Still working on finding out about the function of the Y shape stern.

    Rob! Welcome to TLVD! Thanks for the comment, and I hope the studio goes up well too.

    Thanks Lakeviewer. they were some of the more challenging pics I've taken due to the speed!

    sUN - you are welcome! Couldn't be more different from a city skyline :o)

    Daphne - perhaps it wriggled out of your screen?

    YP - They are very shy, and, like many of the things I find in my garden, I am amazed how many years go by without seeing a single one! You really have to know where to look. I LOVE that this is the plus side of having a large, rambling, weedy and messy garden!

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  9. The bog one looks like he'd make nice fishing bait!

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  10. Great pics! That is a large centipede - but I saw a bigger one at the natural history museum in Tring yesterday! It was about a foot long! Yikes .. even I might balk at picking that thing up! LOL!

    The two things at the back end are apparently the last pair of legs, which are usually different to the rest and trail behind to act as a second pair of antennae. Interesting, huh?

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