Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wonderful Surprise

I stopped by the local exotic pet store (Alligator Alley) to grab some crickets on my way home from class today. I always enjoy looking in their arthropod case, and today was no exception. The first thing I noticed were two very large Scolopendra spp. At a cursory glance, based on color, I thought I saw an S. subspinipes and an S. heros. What they really were was much more interesting.

I've been keeping centipedes for about ten years, now. I've had hundreds as the years have gone by. Strangely, I've never seen one molt. Centipedes just seem to eat their skins very quickly.

The centipede at the shop that I pegged as an S. heros ended up being an S. subspinipes that had molted less than twenty minutes before I walked in! I decided to buy it, and had the shop pull the molt out for me, too.

I now have my first centipede molt drying on my dresser, waiting for me to mount and frame it tomorrow. Not only does it look amazing since it was found while still moist, but it's eight inches long! Talk about a wonderful specimen.

This beautiful centipede is going to have a special place in my collection, now. I can't wait to see what color its legs are once hardened.

EDIT: I'm still settling in to Blogger. I can't seem to get the two photos to look nice, so please forgive the formatting.

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