Philippine Project Notes:
What kind of critter is this?
By Tim Roach
Copyright 2008


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I am curious if anyone knows what kind of "critter" this is.
I have never seen anything like it before, and no one i have talked to locally knows what it is either.

Hopefully someone online will know.
The basic description.

I found it in lightly wooded area in the central part if the Island of Mindanao, Philippines, near an area called Aglayan. See Where am I? page for a map.

At first glance, it looks somewhat like a large millipede or centipede, however it only has 6 legs.
(Perhaps some type of large wireworm or false wireworm?)

It is about 5 inches long (between 12-13cm).
The exoskeleton is hard on top softer on the underside.
It has 13 body segments.
Has only 6 legs.
Its top is dark almost black in color.
the underside is a light brown with dark patches in the center of each body segment.
No eyes. (or at least not obvious)
Antenna (maybe) I am not sure if it had small antennas or if the protrusion were part of the mouth/mandibles.
For the size it was surprisingly strong. (it was able to lift and flip out from under the knife that is pictured.)
I actually had a hard time trying to hold it under the blade and get the pictures. Not to mention how quickly it moved.

I would have liked to have been able to examine it more closely. Unfortunately at the time I did not have any gloves or any other equipment with me other than the knife and my camera bag.

While this "critter" might be totally harmless to people. Here in the Philippines, if one is not 100% sure something is harmless, it is much wiser not to touch it or allow it to touch you. (Which is probably a good rule to follow no matter where one is located).

I have several pictures below. If anyone knows what it is I would appreciate you dropping me an email.

Thanks in advance,
Oh for those that are curious what I did with it after I took the pictures. Not knowing anything about it, if it is a helpful critter or harmful, very rare or common but just not often seen. I took the safe route and put it back where I found it.
Top Views

critter18.jpg - 87317 Bytes critter1.jpg - 39539 Bytes critter3.jpg - 41632 Bytes critter4.jpg - 37341 Bytes critter5.jpg - 45066 Bytes critter6.jpg - 37440 Bytes critter14.jpg - 45186 Bytes critter20.jpg - 32330 Bytes

Underside views

critter16.jpg - 136011 Bytes critter17.jpg - 120709 Bytes critter19.jpg - 36580 Bytes critter7.jpg - 43440 Bytes critter8.jpg - 40006 Bytes critter9.jpg - 40777 Bytes critter10.jpg - 37301 Bytes critter11.jpg - 37282 Bytes critter12.jpg - 39291 Bytes critter13.jpg - 36022 Bytes



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Page Last Updated: 12/25/2008 8:12:17 PM