From the yearly archives: "2001"

Years ago, I came across a black centipede with yellow legs, about 6 to 8 inches long. I live in N.E. Oklahoma. I have only seen 1 or 2 since then. How common are these?

Dear Curious About Centipedes in Oklahoma,
Due to the general lack of cooperation from the chilopods, the class of invertebrates known as centipedes, there has been no formal census or headcount in recent years. Oklahoma does seem to be a breeding ground for the large centipede that you describe as there are hundreds of www links to be found, albeit, none with comprehensive information. Rock climbers in Chandler Park, Oklahoma, are warned to "Beware of poison ivy and the dreaded foot long centipedes which like to take refuge in the thousands of pockets found here. They are poisonous" and the author has personally seen one chewing on a large field mouse. I have also found information that claims they eat young rattlesnakes.

Caterpillars Second submission, once again from Hickory, NC. These caterpillars were all over town a week ago, but now they seem to either died or cocooned. Please identify and provide some background. Thanks!
Gene Annas

Hi Gene,
The website Caterpillars of Eastern Forests has a photo which identifies your caterpillar as an Orange-striped Oakworm (Anisota senatoria). The site says it is: “Charcoal black with orange-yellow stripes that fade appreciably in prepupal individuals. Head black. Second thoracic segment with long, black spinulose horns. Abdominal spines relatively small. Gregarious in early instars, then solitary. Occasionally reaches outbreak densities. One related species occurs in southern Ontario, and another in Florida and Georgia. Food: oaks and chestnuts. Caterpillar: August to October; 1 generation.” The adult moth is a pretty orange color.