Ron Hanko

Ron Hanko

Posted on 01/14/2012

Photo taken on August 16, 2011

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Ronald Hanko

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Narceus americanus

Narceus americanus
In Explore January 14, 2012, #280.

This thing was huge, about four inches long! We found it on one of our hikes in Turkey Run State Park in Indiana and have since identified it as the North American Millipede, Narceus americanus. We've also learned that it was a good thing we didn't touch it, since it is able to release a liquid that can burn the skin. Photographing it was a particular challenge since we were in a dark area of the forest and it moved rather quickly (who wouldn't with a thousand legs?). This was the best picture I got and if you look at it large you can even see the compound eye.

Whenever I see one of these many-legged creatures I remember a poem I learned as a child and which I've since learned comes in different versions. This is how I learned it:
A centipede was happy – quite!
Until a frog in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.

Fascinating creepy crawly.... Great catch!
4 years ago.