House Centipede

Last month, while walking in to work,  I saw this specimen of Scutigera coleoptrata (the house 2014-03-18 HouseCentipedecentipede). Centipedes are fast, but the morning was cold, so I was able to get a photo (hooray for a homeothermic metabolism!). This is a household predator, and can be thought of as beneficial (if you actually need to sort species as such – and if so, where do you place yourself?). I am always amazed that large household predators (e.g. spiders) always seem to exist at densities higher than one would expect given the household prey base (which seems non-existent). Perhaps this is because I am much larger, or perhaps I should study my household ecology a little more closely.

This is an introduced species and has done very well in North America because of our habitat manipulations. Being able to coexist with humans does have some advantages, but do not make the mistake of cuddling the house centipedes you may find – they can (and will) bite.

 

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