Friday, June 10

Don't squish me I'm your friend

I am the  innocent victim of mistaken identity! I may look very wiry and wriggle a lot but I am not a wireworm!  In fact I am not any type of worm at all, I am proud to be a centipede.  Well to be precise my family name is Geophilomorpha.


One of my problems is that I like to curl up inside a dark hole. Sometimes the dark homes may be in the middle of a potato.  When you dig up your potato and find me inside you automatically think I have made the hole.

The evidence against me is purely circumstantial. I am more likely to have eaten the pest that nibbled on your potato as I a meat eater.

So you see I am really a gardener's friend. When you see me don't squash me just  just let me wriggle back into the soil and I will chew my way through some of your enemies. 

28 comments:

  1. That has got to be the longest centipede I have EVER seen! Around here, ours are usually no more than 1.5" (4cm) long.

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    1. That one was about the same size, Margaret and very thin. The photo is larger than life size.

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  2. It's all the legs that are the trouble. Most unsettling.

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    1. So does the level of unsettledness correlate directly to the number of legs, Jessica you must really like snakes. :-)

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  3. They may be harmless, but they are still slightly scary when you chance upon one by surprise!

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    1. Just imagine how they must feel, Mark :-)

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  4. Have some of these in my garden, I know I love my wildlife, but I have a hard time liking things that wriggle, buss or move fast !

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    1. I think that the more you get to know about creepy craw lies the more you come round to if not liking them, tolerating them, Amanda

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  5. I've never been sure of the difference between centipedes and millipedes - and are they both meat eaters?

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    1. Millipedes are not gardeners friends Gail as they eat vegetation rather than other insects. A millipedes body is more rounded and they have more legs. Centipede has a pair of legs to each segment of its body and a millipede has two pairs of legs to each segment. When a millipede walks it is as though there is a ripple of legs under its body.

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  6. I did not know this---great post, Sue. Learned something new!

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    1. Glad to add to your bank of knowledge, Sue

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  7. I will try and be kind to any I find in my garden. It would be nice if they wore ID's though so I could tell the good ones from the troublemakers!

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    1. I must admit slugs and snails are exceptions to that rule, Dave. Even though some of those are not as damaging as others. As you say they need to come with I D badges.

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  8. Thank you Mrs Garrett
    I have a very bad public image
    Your very own centipede!

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    1. Just keep nibbling those nasties, Centi but I would be grateful if you would spare the worms.

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  9. Wow, Sue, never seen or heard about this either. Thanks for the image and storytelling :-)

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    1. When I first started gardening, I thought these were wireworms, Shirley, but I do like to read up on things that I find in the garden and learn more about them. The wireworms that do the damage are the love of a type of click beetle. Maybe the centipede makes a meal of those before curling up in the hole they have made. The true wireworm are quite a nuisance when growing any root crops.

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  10. Love this post Sue, very informative x

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  11. This is so interesting, thank you:) I have never seen one here, only wireworms: but our veg garden was meadow land a few years back so only to be expected. The numbers of wireworms are declining with the help of cultivation and our resident birds.

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    1. Starlings are fairly partial to a tasty wireworm, sweffling aren't they?

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  12. We have them too but ours look quite different. They are shorter and brown. We also have centipede.

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    1. We have centipedes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, Alain

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  13. That's very long centipede! it has 2 heads? I have the brown and short one! Never seen this type before.

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    1. It does look as though it has two heads, Malar but there is only one on the right of the photograph.

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  14. What a handsome chap! Insects fascinate me, I could watch them for hours, the sheer variety is astonishing. I'm relieved they're not the same size as us! What a great photo!xxx

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    1. Which is why I guess so many horror monsters seem to be based on insects, Duna

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