Sunday 14 April 2013

Centipede under pot

It has been warm, if very windy today, but it was nice to be able to potter around in the garden after the long winter. While moving some pots I found this centipede, Cryptops hortensis. A thin, relatively small centipede, less than 3 cm in length, scurrying about trying to get back into soil.
Cryptops is the only UK representative of Scolopendromorpha, a order that includes very large species, often able to hunt small mammals, of warmer climates and that is characterized by their 21 pairs of legs. Cryptops is blind, very flexible and quite fast, and always willing to get under things. They are quite flattened and can manage to get into very small crevices, so it was quite an effort to make it crawl into the bug pot for photos. There are three British species, although only C. hortensis, the smallest of the three is widespread.

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