10 Most Dangerous Centipedes That You Should Stay Away From

Dangerous Centipedes

Nobody likes creepy crawlies, let alone seeing photos of them. But, these dangerous centipedes are exceptionals because you need to know them in order to avoid them. The thing that we all know about centipedes is that they are scary, and some of them are venomous. Little did you know that there is more because some centipede species are so dangerous and harmful to us humans. Today, we will look into the most dangerous centipedes that can kill people and our pets. Let’s hope that your area is not the habitat of these creepy crawlies, so take a look.

1Giant Scolopendridae

image: Pinterest

Habitat: Australia

Looks like most dangerous animals are always from Australia, and this centipede is one of them. These large centipedes can grow up to 30 centimeters, and the large size allows them to eat mice and lizards easily. The bites from Giant Scolopendridae can cause severe pain which lasts for days. You can tell by their large dark flat body along with yellow legs, this one looks really scary.

2Scolopendra Cataracta

Habitat: Southeast Asia

If you think getting in the water will save you from centipede bite, think again. What you are looking at is the very first amphibious centipede that is large and scary-looking with unique ability. This type of centipede can swim and walk underwater just like it does on land. Scolopendra Cataracta can grow up to 20 centimeters long, and these centepedes are venomous and carnivorous. I feel bad writing this because these dangerous centepedes live in Southeast Asia; I am from Southeast Asia.

You can notice this centepede species by their big size along with long legs, and dark, greenish-black color. Maybe you should not turn over rocks beside the streams when you are in Southeast Asia epsecially Laos and Thailand. These crawlies are pretty fast, and they might surprise you with a deadly bite.

3Scolopendra Cingulata

Habitat: Mediterranean Area

With the length just about 10 to 15 centimeters, some people might underestimate its ability of killing. Its venom might not be as toxic as other centipedes in our list, but it does not mean it is okay to stay near one. These are one dangerous centipedes that attack and consume any animals that it wants to eat even larger than itself. There was one time a snake swallowed one of this guys just to be eviscerated by the centipede from inside out. Poor snake.

4Scolopendra Galapagoensis

image: Scolomorph / Flickr

Habitat: Galapagos Islands

Scolopendra Galapagoensis aka Darwin’s Goliath Centipede, is one of the largest centipedes on earth. These are one dangerous centipedes since they have large poisonous mandibles that kill. The centipedes use their mandibles to capture prey, and those mandibles deliver venom along with great pain. This centipede species can grow up to 30 centimeters, and they are really big. These centipedes are varied in colors, but they are all dangerous and venomous to humans.

5Scolopendra Gigantea

Habitat: South America, the Caribbean

Here we have the largest centipede in the world that can grow up to 35 centimeters or more in length. Large and scary, this centipede species has unique strategy that can catch bats for food. These centipedes can climb cave ceilings and hold or manipulate their heavier prey with only a few legs attached to the ceiling. These centipedes can run quickly and climb surfaces easily, and they feed on many different insects and small birds.

One human death has been confirmed of a 4 years old child back in 2014 in Venezuela. The kid died after being bitten by a giant centipede which hid inside an open soda can. The venom from Scolopendra Gigantea is very strong and painful, so stay way from them at all cost.

6Scolopendra Heros

Habitat: Southwestern United States, Northern Mexico

No bite is needed, this centipede species can cut you by just walking on you. The cut is both painful and venomous because the poison will be produced on its legs which will seep into the cuts. Scolopendra Heros aka Giant Desert Centipede is the largest centipede in North America. The special ability of this type of this centipede is that it is capable of reaching into the air to grab small flying insects.

The bites from these dangerous centepedes are very painful, and they cause sharp, local pain, and swelling. At the same time, the bite may also cause nausea, headache, and localized skin necrosis. Not many deaths have occurred, but the severe symptoms can lead to kidney failure and heart attack. You can notice them by their distinct red head and greenish black body and tail.

7Scolopendra Morsitans

image: Julian Robinson / Flickr

Habitat: Australia

The bad thing about Scolopendra Morsitans is that there are more other related species, and all of them are dangerous. That includes Chinese Red-Headed Centipede, Texas Red-Headed Centipede, and more. Each of them is gifted with painful bites that can cause extreme pain to both humans and animals. Such species goes by many colors, but one common resemblance is their red head that you can easily notice at a first look. The larger they get, the larger their prey is; and always make sure to not get bitten by any of the red-headed centipede species.

8Scolopendra Polymorpha

Habitat: Southwestern United States, Northern Mexico

Known as desert centipedes, you can find them in tropical climates. They use their mandibles to pinch their prey and inject the venom to make it easier for them to kill and eat. You can easily recognize them by one dark lateral stripes on their body segments. That is how they got their name as Tiger Centipede or Tiger-Stripe Centipede. These centipedes are known to hunt and eat rodents as well frogs, so you can tell that their bites is very strong and painful.

9Scolopendra Subspinipes

Habitat: Indian Ocean, Tropical and Subtropical Asia, South & Centrail America, the Caribbean

Being one among the largest centipedes, this one species can grow up tp 20 centimeters. This type of centipede has 21 body segments, each of which has one pair of legs. As for the color, it is usually red or reddish brown with yellow or yellow-orange legs.

They are the active and aggressive predator that prey on any animal they can hunt. The bites from these centipedes are even more poisonous than many snake bites. Usually, these centipedes like hiding in damp woods and sometimes inside shoes. So always make sure to check the shoes in case you find one of these cuties.

10Scutigera Coleoptrata

Habitat: Mexico, the Mediterranean

The bad news is that this scary-looking centipedes are found in buildings and other dark places in the house. These house centipedes are yellowish-gray in color, and they have up to 15 pairs of long scary legs. The centipedes are usually harmless to humans, but if bitten, you will definitely feel the pain. Deaths only occur when there is allergic reactions to the venom from these centipedes.

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  1. In 2010 in Taiwan I saw a large centipede in the room I was staying in with my sister, it disappeared so I went to sleep, I had a nightmare of that thing attacking me and surely enough I woke up and it was on my shoulder! I woke my sister to turn the light on and knocked it off before catching it with chopsticks, we bagged it and filmed it before killing it. My sister’s arm was aching for days she is sure it bit her and she didn’t stay it that room afterwards! I was lucky not to get bitten but just its prickly legs caused some irritation on my shoulder. I estimate it to have been at least 15cm, just a night or so before there was at least a 20cm one in the house, that my mum beat to death with a shoe. Many people fear spiders, I generally do not fear any animal but for sure of the invertebrates centipedes unsettle me far more than any spider or insect.

  2. I look in my backyard all the time for cute bugs but I found a HUGE centipede it was so scary I slowly stepped away but it decided to Jump on me and I screamed so loud the lady across the Street heard me she came running towards me it already bit me but I was lucky she got it off I was in pain for days but I slowly recovered but lucky me I’m alive today


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