Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

280 days of Urbpandemonium #75

 photo P1020913_zpsvanlxuzw.jpg
If I can influence people in any way to tolerate these beautiful creatures, then my efforts are worthy. Scutigera coleoptrata* inspires instant fear or hatred in most people, as a first impression. True they are invaders from Europe (like many of us) but they are predators that feed on other, less welcome invaders. House centipedes prefer small flies and cockroaches, and have no interest in biting humans. This one appears to be interested in the instructions on the kiddie pool--but it was merely trapped in it, the way they often become trapped in bathtubs and sinks.

* Scutigera means "shield bearer" and coleo- means sheath, but I'll be darned if I can find what -ptrata is supposed to mean. Linnaeus is playing another trick on us modern readers.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:03 am (UTC)
I think they're extremely cool. We lived in a house in college that was 100+ years old, and one day we came home to one on the wall that had to be 6-7" long. Scott is horrified of them.
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
Scutigera! One of Sadie's favorites :-)
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:19 am (UTC)

Ptrata tickled at me a little. I think I was thinking about 'pterodactyls' and such...

I dug a little.. Wiktionary has a page for Coleoptrata... which is a singular form of coleoptratus... Which is latin, coming from ancient Greek, meaning "having a sheathed wing" ... which makes sence back to my dinosaur connection, as the word Pteron means not only 'wing' but also feather, any winged creature and any wing like object.

Of course.... centipedes don't have wings (thank every power in the world for that)

That said, Beetles are from the order Coleoptera, again, with the sheathed wing thing.

I'm not sure why some of them are PTRA and others are PTER but wiktionary SEEMS to think they're related...

I dug a little more and found that there is a Cymatia coleoptrata which is a type of waterboatman ... and Sagalassa coleoptrata which is a type of Brazillian Moth.

But Mister Centipede here DOESN"T HAVE WINGS so I have NO idea what's up with that.

Maybe someone got really confused and thought they had wings or something.
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that! A commenter on the tumblr version of this post posited that "coleoptrata" was Linnaeus describing the centipede as "beetle-like." Still baffling, but it makes etymological sense.
Jun. 24th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
Yup. I pulled up the Systema Natura, and it's described as "thorace coleoptrato", so it has a body like a beetle.

Pg. 638, if you want to see for yourself http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/10277#page/660/mode/1up
Jun. 24th, 2015 11:12 pm (UTC)
Most excellent.
Jun. 24th, 2015 09:09 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder what sort of nomenclature scheme we'd end up with if we started over today and gave everything new names that were not so CRAZY. ;)

I don't see much beetle-like about the centipede, but, oh well ;) I guess it makes about as much sense as Spider monkeys, leopard slugs, wolf spiders and so forth. So why not beetle centipedes? :p
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:46 am (UTC)
It's an adjectival ending, so I imagine it's from Greek pteron as in coleoptera and means "winged", giving either "sheath-winged" or "with beetle feature" for the second word? However, I don't know whether these have wings, and my Greek is weaker than my Latin, so I may be wrong.
Jun. 24th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
See comment above, I think you're onto something!
Jun. 24th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC)
ooh, that's a fat one :D

Jun. 24th, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC)
I adore centipedes. I live in a basement apartment, so there are always a few running around. I think of them as low-maintenance pets....

As soon as I knew that they ate silver fish and cockroaches, I loved them even more.
Jun. 25th, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
you've got a convert in me!

i no longer fear these and am getting better about being able to ignore them or just move them if i find them in my bathtub!
Jun. 25th, 2015 09:22 pm (UTC)
I like them, but I don't like them in my house. That's because I like my silverfish as you probably know, and I think a centipede would eat them.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


The Urban Pantheist

Latest Month

December 2016


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Witold Riedel