Amazonian giant centipede

Amazonian giant centipede

Scolopendra gigantea

Trinidad

Z.2011.10.1

These are amongst the worlds largest centipedes. They can reach up to 30cm in length.

Where can you see them? They live in the rainforests in the north and west of South America and Caribbean Islands. They need moisture so are usually found in damp soil, leaf-litter and rotten wood.

What do they eat? They are aggressive predators that feed on almost everything they encounter that they can kill. They use their fast-acting and deadly venom to subdue animals much bigger than themselves. They eat insects, tarantulas, lizards, frogs, snakes, birds, mice and even bats. They crawl up to the ceiling of bat caves and dangle by their back legs to catch them. They rely on their senses of touch and smell to hunt as they have bad eyesight.

Are they endangered? They are easily reared in captivity so despite being kept as pets or for show, there is no need to take them from the wild. There is no indication that these giant centipedes are currently threatened in the wild.