Giant Red-headed Centipede

Scolopendra heros

a giant centipede, Scolopendra heros, photo © by Mike Plagens

Emerged from beneath an overturned dead plant in Montosa Canyon, Sta. Rita Mts, Arizona, USA. 28 July 2013. Length is about 20 cm.

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It is a bit disquieting to behold a predacious arthropod that is capable of predating a warm-blooded, possibly sentient animal. The lightning speed doesn't help. But, caution is in order as well because this centipede can inflict a painful sting using the modified first pair of legs. This specimen has the reverse color pattern of the more frequent variant, which has the namesake red head and bluish body.

Scolopendridae -- a Centipede Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 27 October 2014