The water relations of Lithobius forficatus and the role of the coxal organs (Myriapoda: Chilopoda)



The water relations of the common brown centipede, Lithobius forficatus (L.), are examined with regard to the possible involvement of the coxal organs in water uptake. Centipedes with blocked and open coxal pores are subjected to a variety of dehydration and rehydration regimes and weight change over time measured. Weight loss and regain is related to body surface area and is not influenced by the coxal organs.

The conclusion of the paper is that the coxal organs of L. forficatus do not contribute significantly to the ability of these animals to recover water lost through cuticular transpiration.