Animal Stories - Giant Desert Centipede

Animal-World Information about: Giant Desert Centipede

The Giant Desert Centipede is quite attractive, but it has a very unattractive bite!
Latest Animal Stories
Jim - 2014-06-03
I just got pinched by one while moving a trash can about 30 minutes ago...It hurt like heck and I feel sick to my stomach..I will let you know how bad it really is...

Andrea Doubleday - 2013-07-15
I've had a number of these guys in my yard and house here in Bisbee, Az. Last summer I had a huge fellow dragging a partially eaten mouse across my yard... grossed me out completely. This site has changed my thinking, I've always tried to kill them on sight. Learning that they are good for my environment.. ie., they eat scorpions (lots of them around!), mice and roaches.. I'll let them live outside the house, but inside the house? Sorry, that's too close.

haylee - 2011-07-01
Oh and I live in AZ mesa.

glenn lamb - 2012-03-31
I found a navy blue centapeid with yellow marks on it sides. Anybody ever heard or seen one. In Oakland C.A.

haylee - 2011-07-01
Hey I saw a orange centipede but it was a baby in our bathroom and we never saw a centipede in our house or anywhere before. It was all orange though. Can it be highly poisonous or poisonous at all???

Ryan - 2010-04-29
I don't have time or room to go into detail about the article and comments left here, so I will have to keep it brief. These can inflict a serious bite, but only as a defensive mechanism, they aren't aggressive. They are good for your environment, and should be left alone outside if possible. However, they are dangerous to small dogs, elderly, and children. If you find one and are worried about bites, but do not want to kill it, catch it and email me and I will pick it up, and send it to a breeder, scientist, or zoo. They are sold in lps for less than $20, you could maybe sell them for $7. I cannot pay for them though. This is done as a hobby and I lose money on cages, shipping material, feeders, and gas. So if you want to save their life, I will take them, but I will not pay. The high price mentioned below is generally only gotten overseas where you are required to have thousands of dollars in permits to ship them, so they are not worth $75! You can get more than $7 if you are well known in the right circles and regularly frequent the right websites, but it is hobby, education, and research for most of us, so don't expect to get much for them. You can email me for pick up @

Click For Replies (1)
  • Ryan - 2010-05-10
    There are a few color patterns worth a bit more. If you live around Medicine Lodge in Kansas, please contact me if you can find them, we can work something out. Also, I would be able to get a bit more for the red and black stripe form from Southeast corner of AZ, Northwest corner of NM. These are only found in the Peloncillo mountains and the Pedregosa mountains that I'm aware of. You can contact me for more information, but keep in mind, that you aren't going to get rich collecting centipedes!
Judy - 2012-09-20
Just found a black centipede with a red head in the house last night. He was about 4 inches long. Fast mover. Smashed him (it took several times) and by the time I went to pick him up with a paper towel. The cat ate him. All of it thoroughly grossed me out. I'm in Mesa, AZ. First scorpions, now centipedes. Ugh.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Richard - 2012-10-04
    Pretty points. I looking a long time Scolopendra heros arizonensis. Could you tell me, where this subspecies get. Thanks you. Richard
Mary Ann - 2012-09-14
There are centipedes in Chicago that get quite big, too. I live in Arizona, but have not seen the centipedes here...yet. I hope I never do. I don't care if they are red-heads, brunettes, orange, blue, or whatever. I leave them alone and hope they do the same. What I did once when I caught one in the kitchen back in Chicago: I packed up my baby's clothes and we both went to stay at my mother's. The centipede bunked out under the refrig, and the landlord did nothing about it. So, it was either it or us.

mike - 2011-05-30
I found some huge insects in my pool. I live in upstate NY on the Hudson.
They were black and brown in color and had pinchers. It had what looked like 3 section body head, mid and tale. It had 4 long legs and what looked like legs along the rest of it. It was like 3 in long anyone know what it is?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-30
    I have no idea. In Florida, we had things that looked like a beetle with 3 parts to the body. They had a head, a mid section and a sorta triagular tail. There were two pincer things at the top of the head and four legs. They would dig holes into the soil and you'd have these little mounds all over. They came once a year in the summer and then they would just go away. People there just said they were beetles but sure didn't look like a regular beetle to me. Nuisance too with all the mounds.
Jennifer - 2009-10-22
My husband found one of the red headed desert centipedes this morning curled up on our staircase in North West San Antonio. He actually thought our dog had an accident and when he went to clean it up, he noticed its red head and legs. It was still alive so we scooped it into a box and put it in our trash bin outside. Do these things like to come indoors? It was very rainy last night so maybe it was trying to stay dry? Are they poisonous to dogs? I'm so creeped out!

Click For Replies (3)
  • zoey - 2010-05-22
    They are poisonous to dogs humans etc. But are not deadly here's an ad I found

    The Giant Desert Centipede is one of the world's largest species of centipede, not to mention, one of the prettiest. Although the venom from this centipede is not considered deadly, the Giant Desert Centipede can give a very painful bite and the venom injected could leave a person in pain from anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days! In 1931, a centipede taxonomist by the name of G. Attems listed three subspecies of Giant Desert Centipedes. These are the: Red-Headed Centipede (Scolopendra h. castaneiceps); as shown to the left, a beautiful jet black centipede with a red head and yellow legs, the Black-Tailed, also known as the Blue-Tailed Centipede (Scolopendra h. heros); a yellowish centipede with light yellow legs and a blue to navy blue tail, and lastly the Giant Arizona Desert, or Black-Headed Centipede (Scolopendra h. arizonensis); a red or orange centipede with yellow legs and a black head and tail, some with black stripes running across the tergites, parallel to the legs. The Giant Desert Centipede is a great display animal, and is a prized invertebrate in any collection.
  • Scott - 2010-06-08
    Yeah, they're poisonous, I just got bit this morning in Oklahoma City at Lake Hefner. Had to go to the Dr. before anaphalactic shock set in(I might be allergic). Those suckers move very fast, crawled up my swim trunks while I was fishing, and bit me when I sat on it.
  • too cute - 2011-02-11
    Wow! How long was it?