ISLAMABAD - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Hosei University have discovered a new species of large, tropical centipede of genus Scolopendra in Okinawa and Taiwan. It is only the third amphibious centipede identified in the world, and is the largest in the region, 20 cm long and nearly 2 cm thick. It is also the first new centipede to be identified in Japan in 143 years, a testament to the incredible biodiversity of the Ryukyu Archipelago.Scolopendra is a genus of large, tropical centipede, one of the original genera named by the father of modern taxonomy himself, Carl Linnaeus. They are strong predators in any soil ecosystems they inhabit, with around 100 different species found in tropical regions around the world. Of these, only five have been identified in Japan and Taiwan.Scientists were excited when news came in of an unknown centipede species sighted around the Ryukyu Archipelago, reportedly attacking giant freshwater prawns. A team led by Sho Tsukamoto, his supervisor Associate Professor KatsuyukiEguchi of Tokyo Metropolitan University, and Professor Satoshi Shimano of Hosei University set out to look for and identify this mystery creature.It turned out that they had discovered an entirely new species. Genetic analysis confirmed that it was distinct from any of the other Scolopendra inhabiting the region.