Centipedes are fascinating creatures! We all know that they have plenty of legs and that they prefer damp areas – this is why we often see them hiding in mulch in our gardens or around drains in kitchens and bathrooms. They vary greatly in size and can be anything from a couple of inches to over a foot in length. They don’t actually have one hundred legs and different species of centipedes have different numbers of legs! But did you know that they are ferocious hunters and have some hidden weapons?
Centipedes as Predators
Centipedes are carnivores and need to eat other animals. They do this by hunting and are therefore predators. Their usual prey includes insects, beetles, termites, and earthworms. However, the larger tropical centipedes are big enough to prey on birds, bats, frogs and even snakes and mice!
The centipedes in your home will be constantly looking for prey. This can be a good thing because they will reduce the populations of silverfish, flies, cockroaches and, as we see here, spiders. Some pest control experts claim that if you have a lot of centipedes in your house, it is a sign that you have a problem with one of these pests. The best way to get rid of unwanted centipedes from your home is to eliminate their food supply.
How Centipedes Hunt
So, how do centipedes hunt when they have extremely poor eyesight? They use their long antennae to sense that food is near. Then, they grab it with their front legs which have sharp pincers. The pincers deliver venom into the prey which either dies or becomes paralyzed. Either way, it is now available for the centipede to eat.
In this video, a centipede and a spider have been placed in a white container. The centipede senses that the spider is there and approaches it from behind. There is brief tussle between the two animals and then they release each other, it looks as if all is well but then the poor spider shrivels up and dies. Clearly, the venom has taken effect!
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