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centipede

Pronunciation: sen′ti-pēd

Definition: A venomous predatory arthropod of the order Chilopoda, characterized by one pair of legs per leg-bearing segment. The venom is injected through the first pair of leglike appendages, modified into piercing claws; the bites may be painful and locally necrotic, but seldom are dangerous, except to very young children. Genera found in the U.S. include Scutigera, Lithobius, Scolopendra, and Geophilus.

[L. centum, hundred, + pes (ped-), foot]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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