Skull Island's centipedes were every bit as remarkable as any of the island's other inhabitants. Developing in isolation, a number of them had grown to exceptional size and sported extreme specialization in a number of biological traits. Among some species these traits were so extreme as to justify inclusion in a new family, The Skull Island neopedes. Among the most specialized of Skull Island's neopede was the Scorpio-pede, or, nepapede harpagabdominus. Though not the largest of these strange descendants of centipedes, they were by far the most numerous. Colonies of the invertebrates thrived wherever bodies of water were bordered by sufficient crops of their favored food, algae. As larvae they were predatory swimmers. As adults they lived around the waterline, Scorpio-pedes grazed algae from logs, rocks and tree trunks with their shear-like mouthparts.
Like other neopedes of Skull Island, Scorpio-pedes had specialized legs. Their first pair had adapted to become aids for grazing, while those behind the next five walking pairs had been shed entirely.
Intensely territorial, the jumpy invertebrates would react defensively to any incursion into their immediate surroundings, arching their backs to brandish their venomous tails-another unusual trait among their kin, which usually had venomous jaws rather than tails, again like a scorpion, although the tails also take on the shape of a cobra hood. Armed with sharp, hollow tail prongs, Scorpio-pede tails could jab through thick hides to deliver a potent life-threatening poison. Large reptiles suffer only discomfort from the venom, enough to warn them away. For smaller animals-including most mammals and birds, a single jab could be a death sentence, the fast-acting poison killing within minutes. Most creatures knew better than to enter Scorpio-pede's grazing grounds.
Eggs were laid under branches or vegetation overhanging water. Hatching nymphs fell into the water, where they hunted as small, free-swimming predators, devoid of external legs. After three years the nymphs shed their skins to emerge as fully formed amphibious adults.