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Desert Centipede

Scolopendra polymorpha

Desert Centipede, Scolopendra polymorpha, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed at night and predating termites near Painted Rock, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 02 Nov. 2008.

Scolopendridae -- Tropical Centipede Family

The Common Desert Centipede is also known as the banded centipede or tiger centipede. It is common in the Sonoran Desert emerging on warm nights to hunt crickets, termites and other arthropods. By day centipedes retreat underground to escape excessive heat and drying. Large specimens can exceed 100 mm in length and as such are top predators in the Sonoran Desert invertebrate community. In fact they are not averse to taking other predators such as scorpions, spiders, and solfugids as prey.

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