A photo of a giant centipede in Texas is the latest creepy crawlie to find its way onto social media news feeds around the internet.
Texas Redheaded Centipede
The image of a Texas redheaded centipede, or Scolopendra heros, was posted online in July 2015 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page. It shows a massive black centipede crawling on a broom. This centipede is also referred to as a Giant Redheaded Centipede or the Giant Desert Centipede (although this seems to be an inaccurate description as they are most commonly found in wooded areas).
These centipedes average 6.5 inches in length, but can reach 8 inches or longer and have 21 or 23 pairs of legs. They are known to prey on invertebrates and small lizards, snakes, or rodents and can catch flying insects out of the air.
The University of Arkansas describes this species as “among the largest of the many-legged centipedes and millipedes, the group collectively known as the Myriapoda.” It also points out that specimens are often found in Arkansas, southern Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
All of the centipede’s legs are able to pierce skin and deliver venom, especially a modified set of legs which acts as fangs. Against humans, the centipede can cause pain and swelling which typically only lasts a few hours.
An image of a Giant “Texas” Redheaded Centipede shows an example of one of the world’s largest centipedes. The photo has received heavy social media sharing and has been reported by media such as UPI.
Which do you think is creepier: This centipede, or the recently rediscovered Tree Lobster?