The amazing invertebrates of South & Central America...
Martiodrilus (?) crassus, 'Giant Earthworm'. Up to 1.5 metres long. Like many worms, they come out onto the soil surface when conditions are wet.
Centipedes and millipedes are long with many legs. The main difference between the two groups is that centipedes appear to have one leg per segment (on either side), while millipedes appear to have two. Centipedes are usually fast movers, and often predate on other invertebrates, while millipedes are generally slower, and feed on decaying vegetation. The former can have painful bites, while the latter have chemical defences. Millipedes tend to roll into a defensive ball when touched; centipedes shouldn't be approached, closely touched, or insulted!
The Scutigerid centipedes are startling to us humans, scuttling along very quickly with their long legs. They often live in caves, and thus are pre-adapted to living in houses with humans, as well as drains and pipes.
This is is the largest order of millipedes, with over 3,5000 species.
These millipedes are called 'flat-backs' because they often have 'wings' that extend out from each body section. This group also includes all the millipedes that are known to exude hydrogen cyanide as a defence. To warn predators of this defence, these millipedes are often more colourful reds and oranges. These brighter colours combined with keeled shape, mean some people mistake them for centipedes.