The Mysterious World of Backyard Creatures


Episode 27: The Arcapede

Arcapedes (from Latin arca, "box", and pes, pedis, "foot") are arthropods belonging to the class Mammalia of the family Hominidae. They are elongated metameric animals with a pair of legs on a box. Arcapedes normally have a drab coloration of varying shades of brown and grey to white. More colourful varieties are known to exist, but do rarely appear in backyards. Size can range from 3 feet in the young, to about 7 in the adult arcapede.

Worldwide there are estimated to be 8,000 species of arcapedes, of which 3,000 have been discovered to belong to the Ikea class. Arcapedes have a wide geographical range, reaching beyond the Arctic Circle. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Young arcapedes can be spotted mostly in backyards or playrooms, while adult arcapdedes are often shy and are seen only rarely. Within these habitats arcapedes require a soft, squishy environment because they lack eyesight, so they will not be hurt during their frequent falls, or when they run into objects.

A young, undisturbed arcapede can often be observed for hours, aimlessly wandering around the backyard on stubby legs. They may emit strange giggle noises, or knocking sounds from inside their shell. Older, larger arcapedes are often dangerous and should not be approached, since they are grumpy and vendictive because of frequent injuries caused by their blindness, or the heaviness of their shell shortly before moulding.

Adult species are subject to moulting or molting[1] /ˈmoʊltɪŋ/, also known as sloughing, shedding, the manner in which an animal routinely casts off a part of its body. Moulting of the arcapde involves the shedding of the upper body shell (the “box”), which happens in regular cycles on every garbage day.

Join us again, next week, for another funfilled episode of "The Mysterious World of Backyard Creatures"!