Pacific Giant Centipede

Scolopendra subspinipes

''Scolopendra subspinipes'' is a species of centipede. The native range is uncertain. The certain natural range is Meganesia and Indomalaya. The species is also found on virtually all land areas around and within the Indian Ocean, all of Tropical and Subtropical Asia , South and Central America, and the Caribbean. However, how much of this range is natural and how much due to human introduction is unclear.
Scolopendra subspinipes The biggest centipede I've ever seen in my life! Almost as long as the 42 size foot of my husband! Seen at night just in the terrace of our cabin in Halmahera. Fall,Geotagged,Indonesia,Scolopendra,Scolopendra subspinipes

Appearance

This is a large species which can grow up to 10 to 20 cm in length or even more. It has colour variations. Its body is usually red or reddish brown with yellow or yellow-orange legs. In common with other members of genus Scolopendra, it has 21 body segments with each segment having one pair of legs attached. A pair of modified legs known as forcipules can be found on its head, which is covered by a flat shield and bears a pair of antennae. The forcipules are the major tools used by the centipede to kill its prey or for defense, as they have sharp claws that connect to venom glands. Centipedes breathe through the openings located along sides of their bodies. These openings are either round-shaped or S-shaped. They have simple eyes with poor vision, so they rely much on touch and their chemoreceptors.
Macro photo of Malaysian Cherry Red Centipede  Centipede,Macro,Malaysia,Rainforest,Scolopendra subspinipes,jungle

Naming

The number of subspecies of ''S. subspinipes'' is unclear and varies between authors. Taxonomic characters have incorporated plastic traits such as colour and sulcus structure and the number and position of spines, producing indistinguishable and intergrading subspecies. A 2012 review found that one former subspecies, ''S. subspinipes cingulatoides'' is in fact a distinct species, and that ''S. subspinipes'' has no valid subspecies.
Southeast Asian Giant Forest Centipedes (Scolopendra subspinipes dehaani)  Fall,Geotagged,Malaysia,Scolopendra subspinipes

Behavior

This is an aggressive and nervous arthropod which is ready to strike if interfered with and is sensitive to vibrations nearby. It preys primarily on insects or other predatory arthropods , however, if it is large enough to overpower small vertebrates like mice or small reptiles, it will readily attempt to consume them as well. It tends to try to eat almost every living animal it encounters that is not longer than itself. It attacks its prey with the last prehensorial legs, then curves its head quickly behind to implant its venomous jaws deeply and firmly into the prey. The prey is held by the centipede's other legs until it dies from the fast-acting venom. During a fight, the centipede will use its entire body coiling the prey or enemy with its legs firmly attaching to the body of the opponent. Then, it will quickly penetrate its forcipules into the victim for venom injection.
Centipede - Scolopendra subspinipes A juvenile Centipede, possibly Scolopendra subspinipes.
Saw from a website reference that this could be the sub-species Scolopendra subspinipes dehaani, but not very sure of this.


 Centipede,Hong Kong,Scolopendra subspinipes

Habitat

The species can be found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the Old World. It is also one of only three species of centipedes in Hawaii.
Danger - Giant Tropical Centipede I added this image mostly just to tell the story. This is not a photo of one of these venomous animals in a cage or zoo, but the blue background is the bottom of our open-air shower in the Siladen Resort & Spa Hotel. I had heard of horror stories about  huge tropical poisonouscentipedes for years but had never encountered any. On our last night in Indonesia, in what was basically a rest & recuperate couple of days at a beach resort, my wife informed me during the night that she thought that there was a big centipede in out shower. I firmly close the door from the bathroom to our cabin and went back to sleep. In the morning, I assumed that it would have long since moved on, but just to be safe, I let water run down the drain of the open-air shower in case it had taken refuge there. After a few minutes, nothing had emerged, so I figured that it was safe to shower. So imagine my feelings when, covered in soap and with my eyes closed, my wife let out a shriek and told me that a giant tropical centipede was running around frantically in the base of the shower! I managed to get out and we created a way for the centipede to escape from the shower basin while we had breakfast and no one got bitten. But make no mistake, this one was about 45 centimeters long and another guest on the boat back to the mainland WAS bitten and he claimed his arm swelled up to the size of a basketball! These critters are aggressive and very fast moving - so handle with care! Centipede,Fall,Geotagged,Indonesia,Scolopendra subspinipes,Sulawesi

Reproduction

The male produces capsules containing mature sperm cells, spermatophores, which are deposited in a reservoir called the spermathecae of the female during mating. The female then fertilizes her immature eggs, oocytes, and deposits them in a dark, protected area. The female lays 50 to 80 eggs which she vigilantly protects until they hatch and the baby centipede molt once. If danger is detected she will wrap around her babies to keep them safe. The young centipedes molt once each year, and take three to four years to attain full adult size. Adults molt once every year. They may live for 10 years or more.
Centipede Not definitely sure with the ID but given it as possible as Scolopendra subspinipes has wide distribution and can be variable.

This juvenile dropped from the tree onto my pants, took this picture of it before removing it off to the bushes :D Centipede,Palawan,Philippines,Scolopendra subspinipes

Food

This is an aggressive and nervous arthropod which is ready to strike if interfered with and is sensitive to vibrations nearby. It preys primarily on insects or other predatory arthropods , however, if it is large enough to overpower small vertebrates like mice or small reptiles, it will readily attempt to consume them as well. It tends to try to eat almost every living animal it encounters that is not longer than itself. It attacks its prey with the last prehensorial legs, then curves its head quickly behind to implant its venomous jaws deeply and firmly into the prey. The prey is held by the centipede's other legs until it dies from the fast-acting venom. During a fight, the centipede will use its entire body coiling the prey or enemy with its legs firmly attaching to the body of the opponent. Then, it will quickly penetrate its forcipules into the victim for venom injection.

Defense

''Scolopendra subspinipes'' has been reported as the apparent cause of a human death. The fatal case was in Philippines in which the centipede bit a seven-year-old girl on her head. She died 29 hours later. There have been no other verifiable cases of centipede bite being implicated in human fatalities.

Uses

''S. subspinipes'' is a popular pet among arthropod hobbyists. The centipede was a traditional food source for Aboriginal Australians

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassChilopoda
OrderScolopendromorpha
FamilyScolopendridae
GenusScolopendra
SpeciesS. subspinipes