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Submitted on
February 16, 2013
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Scutigeridae by melvynyeo Scutigeridae by melvynyeo
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House centipedes lay their eggs in spring. In a laboratory observation of 24 house centipedes, an average of 63 and a maximum of 151 eggs were laid. As with many other arthropods, the larvae look like miniature versions of the adult, albeit with fewer legs. Young centipedes have four pairs of legs when they are hatched. They gain a new pair with the first molting, and two pairs with each of their five subsequent moltings. Adults with 15 pairs of legs retain that number through three more molting stages (sequence 4-5-7-9-11-13-15-15-15-15 pairs). They live anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the environment. They can start breeding in their third year. To begin mating, the male and female circle around each other. They initiate contact with their antennae. The male deposits his sperm on the ground and the female then uses it to fertilize her eggs.

House centipedes feed on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, and other household arthropods. They administer venom through modified legs. These are not part of their mandibles, so strictly speaking they sting rather than bite. They are mostly nocturnal hunters. Despite their developed eyes they seem to rely mostly on their antennae when hunting. Their antennae are sensitive to both smells and tactile information. They use both their mandibles and their legs for holding prey. This way they can deal with several small insects at the same time. To capture prey they either jump onto it or use their legs in a technique described as "lassoing". Using their legs to beat prey has also been described. In a feeding study, S. coleoptrata showed the ability to distinguish between possible prey. They avoid dangerous insects. They also adapted their feeding pattern to the hazard the prey might pose to them. For wasps, they retreat after applying the venom to give it time to take effect. When the centipede is in danger of becoming prey itself, it can detach any legs that have become trapped. House centipedes have been observed to groom their legs by curling around and grooming them with their forcipules.
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Looks as if it has eaten a neat hole through the leaf, spoiling its reputation as a predator, and then realized it was being watched: "Huh? It's not my hole!" :D
LOL... you have a great imagination! :) Do look like what you describe :)
dem jaws!! lol i noticed that before i noticed the legs, house spiders are pretty terrifying as it is XD
:) But they are seldom aggressive :)
lol did i sat house spider? i meant house CENTIPEDE ;D
iambutils Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
perfect shot man!
catzilla Feb 19, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Woah, I didn't know they could live that long! Awesome!

I am a supporter of this creature, they're all over New England and I'm always yelling at people not to kill them because they feed on the bugs you REALLY do not want in your house!
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