Recently, a new species of centipede was discovered in the deep caves of Croatia by scientists abroad. Given its location in the Mediterranean, the specimen was aptly named after the Underworld of Greek legend and its ruler, Hades. However, the scientific name for this many-legged being is Geophilus hadesi.
Hades centipede is thus far one of only two species of centipede discovered to live underground
The members of the team of scientists found the specimen in three caves in the Velebit mountain range, among a group of species known as the geophilomorphs that sometimes surface.
But this centipede spends its entire life underground.
Just like all discoveries of cave creatures, this one shows an animal with atypical characteristics often attributed to beings of dark, dank environments.
To survive, the underground creature is equipped with powerful jaws, poison glands, long antennae, and long, curved claws in its legs that it uses to hold its prey. This centipede is carnivorous and eats other invertebrates, and it’s not alone down there.
Just as Hades has his Persephone, the centipede has its companion.
The species of centipede is considered by the scientists to be one of the top bosses of the food chain of the cave system. However, it is not alone down there.
The region the centipede was found in reaches around ninety miles in the Croatian Dinaric Karst.
Otherwise, it is a critical juncture in which underground dwelling creatures can be found. Some of them are known to science, others are waiting to be discovered. The lead author of the study, Professor Pavel Stoev of the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia, Bulgaria knew when he first saw the creature and its unique characteristics that they had found something new that was perfectly adapted to its underground environment.
It is just a reminder to everyone how little is known about deep cave systems, their habitats, and their inhabitants. In just this one region, there is still ninety miles of exploration to explore will potentially undiscovered creatures to find. The find and study about the centipede, Geophilus hadesi was published in the journal Zookeys, describing its uniqueness and other such findings.