Scientists have made a new discovery with the finding of an 8 inch first known amphibious centipede.
The species is called Scolopendra cataracta, meaning “waterfall” and is found in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The creature was found by George Beccaloni on his honeymoon in 2001. It’s taken until recently to fully account for the species in science journals.
“Wherever I go in the world, I always turn over rocks beside streams, and that’s where I found this centipede, which was quite a surprise,” Beccaloni told National Geographic.
“It was pretty horrific-looking: very big with long legs and a horrible dark, greenish-black colour,” he added.
What makes this centipede unusual is its fondness for water, something centipedes normally avoid. When caught in a jar, it swam around like an eel.
There have only been four of these centipedes collected and recorded since the first one in 1928. That want was misidentified and at the time, thought to be another, more common species. None of the centipedes have ever been caught swimming though.
The centipede eats invertebrates, snakes, and mice. Their fangs are sharp enough to puncture human skin and will leave behind a very painful, but non-lethal bite.
The discovery of this amphibious centipede is just further proof that there is still so much out there to be discovered, if we only keep our eyes open.
Photo Credit: Zoo Keys