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Myriapods: Kilopods and Diplopods


If you compare a snake louse and a centipede, you will notice some similarities: both have a large number of locomotor paws, an elongated body containing many segments, and a head with a pair of eyes and a pair of antennae.

They differ, however, in many respects: the lacraia is flat and has a body divided into head, chest (containing four segments), and abdomen. In the first segment of the body of the centipede there are a pair of poison-inoculating claws.

In the others, except for the last one, there are a pair of locomotor paws per segment. The snake louse has no poison inoculating claws (it is not poisonous) and two of the thoracic segments have a pair of paws each. In the abdomen, each segment has two pairs of paws each.

The worm acts as a predator and moves rapidly in search of prey, small rodents, insects and worms; snake lice move slowly and are eaten of vegetable debris.

Both prefer damp and dark places under fallen logs, wood, stones, vases and have a predominantly nocturnal habit.

They breathe in trachea, excrete through Malpighi tubules. The sexes are separated (dioecious) and the young in form resemble adults.