A brand new species of huge, tropical, amphibious centipede has been discovered in Okinawa and Taiwan – solely the third creature of its form to be recognized wherever in the world.
The centipede, which measured 20cm in size and is almost 2cm large, can be the primary new centipede to be recognized in Japan for 143 years, in line with Tokyo Metropolitan University.
News first reached researchers of an unidentified centipede attacking recent water prawns in the forests of the biodiverse Ryukyu Archipelago space.
Sho Tsukamoto, of Tokyo Metropolitan University, then led a workforce together with Professor Satoshi Shimano of Hosei University to set out and discover the centipede in its stream-side habitat and decide precisely what the predator was.
However, they weren’t anticipating to find a wholly new species, particularly one which was the most important centipede species in Japan and Taiwan.
The amphibious centipede has been named Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto and Shimano after the Greek mythological determine Alcyone, who was remodeled right into a kingfisher by Zeus as a punishment for referring to herself as Zeus’s spouse, Hera.
Its Japanese title, ryujin-ômukade, additionally has a mythological origin, linked to the area in which it was discovered.
According to local fable, a dragon god, or ryujin, was in ache on account of a centipede which had entered its ear. After seeing a rooster guzzle down a centipede, the dragon god got here to worry each centipedes and chickens.
In the previous, the individuals of Ryukyu painted chickens on their boats, and had centipede flags as a technique to beat back the dragon gods at sea.
Researchers stated the very fact this centipede went so lengthy undiscovered was proof that a lot of the Ryukyu Archipelago is unexplored and wants preserving.
They additionally imagine that the centipede is endangered and the workforce hope to analyze and monitor the predator extra, whereas preserving their stream-side habitat.