CLASS CHILOPODA (CENTIPEDES) (ehenos, lip + podus, foot)

CLASS CHILOPODA (CENTIPEDES) (ehenos, lip + podus, foot)

1. Habitat:

Members of the class Chilopoda are the centipedes. Most centipedes are nocturnal . They arc present on surfaces of logs, rocks, or other forest-floor debris. Most centipedes lack a waxy epicuticle. Therefore, they require moist habitats.

2. Body Structure:

Their bodies are flattened in cross section. They have a single pair of long lei, on each of their IS or more trunk segments. The last part of legs is modified  into long sensory appendages.

3, Nutrition: Centipedes are fast-moving predators. Food consists of small arthropods, earthworms and snails. Some centipedes feed on frogs and rodents. Poison claws immobilize prey. Poison claws are modified first-trunk appendages called maxillipeds. Maxillipeds and mouth appendages hold the prey. The mandibles chew and ingest the food. Most centipede venom is harmless to humans. But many centipedes bite like was stings. A few human deaths occurred by the biting of tropical species.


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4. Reproduction: Courtship displays occur during centipede reproduction. The male lays down a silk web during this display. Silk web is released from glands at the posterior tip of the body. He places a spermatophore in the web. The female picks up and introduces it into her genital opening. Eggs are fertilized as they are laid. The male wraps her body around the eggs and broods and guards eggs. Eggs may also be deposited in the soil. Young are similar to adults. But young have fewer legs and segments. Legs and segments are added with each molt.

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