AMORGOS, the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades is a stunner,
with whitewashed houses, trestled alleyways and fiery rust sunsets ...
Kevin Raub in New York Post, 2010

Centipedes don’t have thousand legs, yet they can hurt

As in many mediterrenean aereas there are quite large centipedes a native species of Amorgos. During our visit in may, my Husband had an achy meeting with one of those guys wich the greeks call skolopetra.  Centipedes are predators and equipped with poison claws. They are fast and their bite can be quite painful. Usually they like dark, humid habitats like leaf litter or fallen wood often they are also lurking under stones and rocks.

“Our” skolopetra found my husband’s neoprene diving footlets very comfortable and sure it was a bit upset, when cooped by a human foot and taken for a snorekeling trip. I guess it did not share our fascination for the beauty of the Paradisia bay and so one could not blame the little beast for fighting back – naturally skolopetras don’t attack humans as they are too tall and chewy for their menu. 😉


At this point I will spare you a description of all our first aid measures – we were successful.  If you are interested, you will find many serious and curious “operation instructions”  for bites of centipedes in the web, as there are amazingly many centipedes lovers wich keep them as pets… but better ask your doctor! In case you need proficient help on Amorgos you may count on one of the island doctors.

Amorgean doctor’s offices on our List of important telephone numbers
Read more about centipedes on Wikipedia


Comment with Facebook

  1. If I remember well, this think is not called “Skolopetra” but Hiliopodarousa…. with means 1000 feets. The Skolopetra – if I´m not mistaken – must be the one in the see……

  2. Author
    nicola August 25, 2010

    you might be right, as we saw some similar animals while snorkeling. i showed the animal on the picture to the pharmacist of amorgos and he told me that its greek name is skolopetra. and the millipede can’t bite or sting – according to wikipedia

  3. Locally, this is also called a Sarandapothi (forty legs). It is actually the Scolopendromorpha family. If you are REALLY interested see: ‘yuk’. If your favourite table is taken in a local taverna on Amorgos just point underneath it and shout, ‘sarandapothi’ and the table will soon clear, probably along with the whole of the taverna.(from our guide book)

    • Author
      nicola August 26, 2010

      thx paul, our postings were crossing…

  4. Author
    nicola August 26, 2010

    i found out some interesting things about arthropodas, to wich centipedes, skolopatras, and the sea habitatet crustaceas belong. some crustaceas look very similar to the centipedes except they have two antennas and different legs. it’s said in some articles that this spezies are insufficiently studied at the moment. i think a biologist could be rather helpful to bring the article to an accurate description.

Leave a reply