Texas- Scolopendra heros castaneiceps

Gsc

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
538
Today, March 19th, our temps were in the low eighties so I decided to head out and look for a new centipede collecting area since my last one was developed. I was successful in finding an area around Washington County, Texas. This is the same general area where I'd found them in the past. I have always found them associated with water and this new place was no exception. A majority of the 'pedes today were found within 30'-60' of the lake under rocks. They prefer mid/large sized rocks with solid contact with the soil (I'm sure since this provides a moist area). Leaf litter around the rocks is even better. Most are found singly under the rocks (in the past I have found two under the same rock BUT this was probably because they didn't realize the other was there...soil blocking their chambers/areas). Oftentimes smaller spiders (wolfs, etc) are under the rocks along with isopods. Only a single cricket was found under flipping 40+ rocks today. On a different note, many rocks had Mediterranean Geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) under them- I'm positive that these geckos are hunted/ate by the centipedes...they seem to be the BEST food in the area.

Fishermen talk about encountering the centipedes at night while they hunt for insects (or geckos) on the cement walls of the spill-way. I have even found dead centipedes on the trails to the fishing spots that were obviously killed (squished or cut in half) by fishermen. Walking these trails at sunset/evening you can find the centipedes while they crawl through the dry leaf litter. You often HEAR them before you see them- once you know what to listen for it's pretty easy. They scurry through the leafs, making noise, like the skinks do during the day. Skinks hide in the leaf litter which may also comprise at least a part of the S. heros diet.

Below are pictures of the area I hit today. 8 centipedes were found within 1 hr. 15 minutes ranging in size from 2.5"- 6". Average size was ~3.5"-4" (juvenile/sub adults).

Over the years I have found that carrying a bucket & wearing gardening gloves is the easiest way to collect the centipedes. I prefer flexible leather gloves to grab the 'pedes quickly and toss them into the bucket. Their erratic behavior and possible escape below larger rocks makes this the easiest method. I was bit through the gloves TWICE in the past while perfecting this method (these had rubber palms/fingers with cotton tops)...the 'pedes swung around and bit through the cotton EASILY. Lesson learned. You can see from the LAST photo that I always begin by trying to separate out each centipede into it's own container BUT quickly give up and toss them all in the SAME bucket (provided there is leaf litter/moss/etc) for hiding places. They frequently run into each other but quickly go the opposite direction upon contact.
 

Attachments

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
3,346
You lucky dog! If you find any males...I'm in deperate need.
 

Gsc

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
538
Pretty good day. My wife spotted this young Lousiana Milksnake tonight while we were out roadcruising for herps... 8 'pedes and a milk... looks like it's gonna be a great year!
 

Attachments

Texas Blonde

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
841
Great post Graham! I am going to the Davis Mountains this weekend, will do my best to get you a heros if I see any.
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
3,346
Aw shucks, my PM box is always open to a Davis Mts. visitor;)
 
Top