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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Centipedes

Class Chilopoda


Centipedes are venomous and differs from Millipedes by have only one pair of legs per segment. They also have a pair of long feelers and forked tail.

Eaten by Cattle Egret at Jurong Lake ©Lau SY

There are 5 orders of centipedes and 4 can be found in Singapore.

House Centipedes (Order Scutigeromorpha)


House centipedes are so called because they have been found in houses. Fortunately, this is extremely unlikely to happen in Singapore. They have up to 15 pairs of long legs.

There is only one species in Singapore - the Long-legged Cave Centipede (Thereuopoda longicornis).


10-cm-long Long-legged Cave Centipede (Thereuopoda longicornis) at Rifle Range ©Eddy Lee

Stone Centipedes (Order Lithobiomorpha)


These are short centipedes with up to 15 pairs of short legs.

There are two species in Singapore, the endemic Australobius discolor and the introduced Lithobius forficatus.

Tropical Centipedes (Order Scolopendromorpha)


These are centipedes with 21-23 body segments.

There are about 18 species in Singapore, of which there are three confirmed species of Scolopendra. Of the Scolopendra, S. subspinipes is the most common; it has the thinnest black band between segments and red legs. S. morsitans is the second most common; it has thicker black band between segments, red head and no red legs. S. hardwickei is the rarest; it has almost alternating black and red segments.


Left: Rifle Range. Right: Chestnut Trail ©Eddy Lee


15-cm-long Asian Forest Centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) at Rifle Range ©Eddy Lee


Attacked by ants at Chek Jawa ©Tan KH

Soil Centipedes (Order Geophilomorpha)


These are centipedes with more than 27 body segments.

There are up to 8 species found in Singapore, many unconfirmed.

References
[1] http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/nus/pdf/PUBLICATION/LKCNH%20Museum%20Books/LKCNHM%20Books/myriapods_checklist_singapore.pdf
[2] http://chilobase.bio.unipd.it/search/geographic_search.php

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