What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Saturday 18 April 2009, 5:30 PM
We turned over a rock in the garden today and were surprised by this large Soil Centipede.

Soil Centipede

According to BugGuide, it is in the genus Strigamia, but there is virtually no information.  The Soil Centipede page for the Order Geophilomorpha has a bit more information, including:  “Size Most are less than 5 cm, some reach 17 cm. (1)
Identification Slender eyeless centipedes that have 31 to 177 pairs of legs and antennae with 14 segments.  The number of pairs of legs is always odd. (1)
Habitat They can penetrate as deep as 70 cm into soil and feed on insect larvae and worms.”

Soil Centipede

Our own observation included that this overthree inch long specimen could move equally proficiently in reverse, with the entire centipede walking backwards.  It was very difficult for us to take these images.  The camera no longer autofoces, and the batteries were dying.  We had to shut the camera off after almost every image, and then refocus each time.  The Soil Centipede was moving quickly and was difficult to focus on.  A straight line measured on today’s LA Times from the s in Washington to the u in discuss is 2 7/8 inches, and that doesn’t include the bend in the Soil Centipede’s body.

Soil Centipede

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
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