Skull Island's centipedes are every bit as remarkable as any of the island's other inhabitants. Developing in insolation, a number of them have grown to exceptional size and sport extreme specialization in a number of biological traits. Among some species these traits were so extreme as to justify inclusion in a new myriapod clade, the Skull Island neopedes.
Among the most specialized of Skull Island's neopedes is the Scorpio-pede. Though not the largest of these strange centipede descendants, they are by far the most numerous. Colonies of the large invertebrates thrive wherever bodies of swampy water are bordered by sufficient crops of their favored food, algae. As larvae they are fully aquatic, predatory swimmers, preying on such things as tiny freshwater shrimp. As adults they live mostly around the waterline, grazing algae from logs, rocks, and standing tree trunks with the shears-like mandibles.
Like other neopedes of Skull Island, Scorpio-pedes have specialized legs. Their first pair have adapted to become aids for grazing, while all those behind the next five walking pairs have been shed entirely.
Intensely territorial, the jumpy invertebrates will react defensively to seemingly any incursion into their immediate surroundings, arching their backs to brandish their venomous tails - another unusual trait among their kin, which usually have venomous jaws rather than tails. Armed with sharp, hollow tail prongs, Scorpio-pede tails can jab through thick hides to deliver a potentially life-threatening poison. Large reptiles, large non-mammalian synapsids, and large non-avian dinosaurs suffer only discomfort from the venom, enough to warn them away. For smaller animals (including most mammals and most birds) a single jab could be a death sentence, the fast-acting venom killing within minutes. Most other creatures know better than to enter adult Scorpio-pedes' grazing grounds.
Their own predators include Piranhadon.
Eggs are laid under branches or vegetation overhanging water. Hatching nymphs fall into the water, where they hunt as small, free-roaming predators, devoid of external legs. After three years the nymphs shed their skins to emerge as fully formed amphibious adults.