• Submitted By: emilbielak
  • Date Submitted: 07/20/2014 10:15 PM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 573
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 1

Centipedes are a predominantly predatory taxon. They are generalist predators, which means that they have adapted to eat a variety of different available prey. Examination of centipede gut contents suggest that plant material is an unimportant part of their diet although centipedes have been observed to eat vegetable matter when starved during laboratory experiments.[4]:168

Centipedes are mostly nocturnal. Studies on centipede activity rhythms confirm this, although there are a few observations of centipedes active during the day and one species Strigamia chinophila that is diurnal. What centipedes actually eat is not well known because of their cryptic lifestyle and thorough mastication of food. Laboratory feeding trials support that they will feed as generalists, taking almost anything that is soft-bodied and in a reasonable size range. It has been suggested that earthworms provide the bulk of diets for Geophilomorphs, since Geophilomorphs burrow through the soil and earthworm bodies would be easily pierced by their venom claws. Observations suggest that Geophilomorphs cannot subdue earthworms larger than themselves, and so smaller earthworms may be a substantial proportion of their diet.[10] Scolopendromorphs, given their size, are able to feed on vertebrates as well as invertebrates. They have been observed eating reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds. Collembola may provide a large proportion of Lithiobiomorph diet. Little is known about Scutigeromorph or Craterostigmomorph diets. All centipedes are potential intraguild predators. Centipedes and spiders may frequently prey on one another.[4]

Centipedes are eaten by a great many vertebrates and invertebrates, such as mongooses, mice, salamanders, beetles and snakes.[4]:354–356 They form an important item of diet for many species and the staple diet of some such as the African ant Amblyopone pluto, which feeds solely on geophilomorph centipedes,[11] and the South African Cape black-headed...

Similar Essays