Amazonian giant centipede (scolopendra gigantea)

Amazonian giant centipede (scolopendra gigantea)

Amazonian Giant Centipede…

Scolopendra gigantea
Scolopendra gigantea by Tod Baker cc2.0

Amazonian giant centipedes (Scolopendra gigantea) are enormous venomous, grouchy insects. They are aggressive, but also rather nervous and jumpy. They grow up to 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long. Each pair of their legs is attached to marked sections of their body; they have twenty-one to twenty-three sections. Their legs are specialized for rapid attacking and retreating. There is a flat shield covering their head, which also has two antennae and a pair of modified legs with sharp claws, called forcipules. These forcipules penetrate a victim’s skin and inject venom.

There are openings on the sides of their body which are connected to the trachea, enabling them to breathe. They are practically blind, and so are dependent on touch and on chemoreceptors (sensory receptors that respond to chemical stimuli).




Scolopendra gigantea are carnivores that feed on almost anything they can kill. They can even overpower tarantulas, and vertebrates like lizards, frogs, some snakes, birds and bats. They have a rather fascinating bat-hunting technique. They linger on the walls of caves to ambush a victim, then grasp the ceiling with their hind legs and lunge at their prey. When hunting on the ground, they coil themselves around their prey, effectively trapping it. They will cut the catch into pieces as they consume it.

Amazonian giant centipede
gigantea by Tod Baker cc2.0

Scolopendra gigantea venom is very powerful; it kills most small animals. It is toxic to humans, too, causing severe pain, fever, swelling, fatigue and chill. The venom is unlikely to actually kill a human, though, unless the victim is allergic to the toxin.

Amazonian giant centipedes are featured in the following book:
25 Beastly Bugs and Insects




The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Amazonian giant centipedes. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Scolopendra gigantea, Peruvian giant centipede hifi by cacoseraph
  2. Giant Bat-Eating Centipede by twinkdizogg
  3. giant centipede vs tarantula by xagtho
  4. Centipede vs. Grasshopper Mouse by NationalGeographic
  5. 15 Most Dangerous Animals in the Amazon Rainforest by IP Factly

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