from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mythical sea-creature, reputed to be able to disgorge its bowels to dislodge any fishing-hook.
- n. A centipede or millipede.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A genus of venomous myriapods including the centipeds. See centiped.
- n. A sea fish.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Some imaginary sea-monster.
- n. [capitalized] [NL. (Linnæus, 1735).] A Linnean genus of myriapods, approximately the same as the class Myriapoda, subsequently variously restricted, now the type of the limited family Scolopendridæ, and containing such centipeds as have the cephalic segments imbricate, four stemmatous ocelli on each side, attenuated antennæ, and twenty-one pairs of feet.
We came across the odd scorpion and an immense creature called scolopendra gigantean, which resembles a giant earwig and is one of the largest insects in the world.
The so-called fox-shark, when it finds it has swallowed the hook, tries to get rid of it as the scolopendra does, but not in the same way; in other words, it runs up the fishing-line, and bites it off short; it is caught in some districts in deep and rapid waters, with night-lines.
Insects that are long in shape and many-footed can live for a long while after being cut in twain, and the severed portions can move in either direction, backwards or forwards; thus, the hinder portion, if cut off, can crawl either in the direction of the section or in the direction of the tail, as is observed in the scolopendra.
The so-called sea-scolopendra, after swallowing the hook, turns itself inside out until it ejects it, and then it again turns itself outside in.
The sea-scolopendra, like the land-scolopendra, will come to a savoury bait; the creature does not bite with its teeth, but stings by contact with its entire body, like the so-called sea-nettle.
The physeter then giving up the ghost, turned itself upon its back, as all dead fishes do; and being thus overturned, with the beams and darts upside down in the sea, it seemed a scolopendra or centipede, as that serpent is described by the ancient sage Nicander.
I also considered that the occasion necessitated the impressiveness of a frock-coat, which I produced at the end of a long search among my baggage and proceeded to don after extracting a tarantula and some stray scolopendra from the sleeves and pockets.
Rats were there in abundance, also deadly scolopendra and centipedes; and large bird-eating spiders were daily seen promenading up and down the sheet-iron walls.
In addition to mosquitoes, the scolopendra is not uncommonly found here, and snakes sometimes intrude into the bedchamber.
This shattered fragment of a sea-wandering scolopendra, lying on the sandy shore, twice four fathom long, all befouled with froth, much torn under the sea-washed rock, Hermonax chanced upon when he was hauling a draught of fishes out of the sea as he plied his fisher's craft; and having found it, he hung it up to the boy Palaemon and Ino, giving the sea-marvel to the sea-deities.