This Stone centipede¹ was found in the garden by my daughter and was promptly moved into my collapsible white box for a portrait. These centipedes are fast movers, and they seldom pause long enough for a sure shot. Following the movement and staying in focus is difficult and the most successful takes were when it was walking across the background on one plane.
Centipedes are hunters, and they are unique among arthropods in that the foremost pair of legs have evolved as venomous ‘fangs’ (called forcipules or maxillipedes) in order to subdue prey. Centipedes can be distinguished from millipedes in that they have a single pair of legs on each segment, rather than the millipede’s two pairs per segment. Our relatively harmless (to us, that is!) stone centipede has a relative that is large enough to take on mammals, even something as difficult to handle as a flying bat…
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(This is an re-worked Bug Whisperer post from September, 2009. The photograph was taken with the Nikon D80 and the Tamron 90mm DI lens on the Kenko Pro 1.4x converter. Lighting with a single Nikon SB-600 flash in a Lumiquest Softbox)
(See Alex Wild’s rendition here.)
¹Phyllum Arthropoda, Subphylum Myriapoda, Class Chilopoda, Order Lithobiomorpha, Family Lithobiidae, Lithobius sp.