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280 days of Urbpandemonium #51

 photo P1020684_zpsgzr8s2m8.jpg
Flipping over rocks when I was a child, was a hobby full of surprises. I was looking for salamanders, but more often got slugs, earthworms, ground beetles, isopods, and millipedes. I would pick each of these up to examine them--I knew none of them could hurt me (the ground beetles could give a little pinch, but they never did). But if I saw one of these fast-moving orange centipedes, I let it scuttle away. Early attempts at grabbing them led them to twist alarmingly, and I was concerned I would be bitten or stung. As it turns out, these animals' venom-loaded forcipules are too small to penetrate human skin.

I call these "garden centipedes," although the order is more properly called Lithobiomorpha*. If I was more confident with identifying centipedes I might tell you it was Lithobius forficatus**, a European species introduced with its soil to New England, probably the most common lithobiomorph centipede in our area.

*Stone-living-shaped

**Scissor-shaped (probably referring to the last pair of legs) stone-liver

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
temeres
Jun. 1st, 2015 08:41 am (UTC)
I've long wondered whether or not Lithobius could give a nasty bite, and avoided handling them just in case. Reassuring to learn that they are safe, but they do look rather intimidating.
morty_baby
Jun. 1st, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
I get black millipedes in my dungeon basement suite, the likes that you surface dwellers will never know.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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