10 largest scolopendras in the world

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Scolopendras are large centipedes that live in places with warm and hot climate. According to the biological classification of the genus Scolopendra Belongs to the class of Lepodoptera centipedes (Chilopoda). Exist about 8 thousand species of scolopendra. For many people, they cause fear, and it is largely justified – their bite is very painful, and the poison is in unlike other millipedes, scolopendra are poisonous – maybe dangerous for humans, especially in the presence of an allergic reaction. Meanwhile, there are people who are attracted to these unusual animals, and they may contain a scolopendra at home.

The ability of a scolopendra to instill fear in people depends on size – large arthropods are more afraid. The article will be told about the most terrifying and dangerous, attracting the most attention to skolopendra – the largest skolopedra in the world.

The largest scolopendras in the world

Nomination a place Name of product Maximum length
The largest scolopendras in the world 1 Scolopendra gigantea (up to 35 cm) 35 cm
2 Scolopendra heros (up to 20 cm) 20 cm.
3 Scolopendra subspinipes (up to 20 cm) 20 cm.
4 Scolopendra cataracta (up to 20 cm) 20 cm.
5 Scolopendra alternans (up to 18 cm) 18 cm.
6 Scolopendra galapagoensis (up to 17 cm) 17 cm.
7 Scolopendra viridicornis (up to 16 cm) 16 cm.
8 Scolopendra hardwickei (up to 16 cm) 16 cm.
9 Scolopendra polymorpha (up to 16 cm) 16 cm.
10 Scolopendra cingulata (up to 15 cm) 15 cm.

1st place: Scolopendra gigantea (up to 35 cm)

Rating: 5.0

Scolopendra gigantea

The largest scolopendra in the world is called – giant scolopendra. The natural range of the species includes north and West South America, as well as the islands of Trinidad and Jamaica. Plain length about 23 sentiments, can reach 25-30 cm, maximum fixed – 35 cm. Consists of 21-23 segments with a pair of legs, departing from each of them. Body color copper or brown, legs bright yellow with red “hips”. The antennae consist of 17 segments, of 9-12 without bristles.

Giant scolopendra feeds on other animals, sometimes even bigger than her – insects, spiders and scorpions, frogs, lizards, snakes, birds and bats. Attacking the prey scolopendra injects poison into the victim’s body. Poisonous glands are connected ducts with the claws of one of the pairs of front legs, which pierce the attacked animal. For self-defense, a centipede may inject poison into a person.

Giant scolopendra venom contains hormones and enzymes such as histamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, lecithin and hyalulonidases, increasing tissue permeability. For small animals, the dose scolopendra injects is deadly. A person has a bite causes local edema, disappearing after a couple of hours, sometimes malaise for several days.

2nd place: Scolopendra heros (up to 20 cm)

Rating: 4.9

Scolopendra heros

California Scolopendra – second largest after giant. It lives in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, in arid areas. Average size – 17 sentiments, in the wild grows up to 20 centimeters in nature, in captivity it can grow even longer. It has 21-23 segments. The front of the body is orange, the back is black. Coloring is precautionary – predators fear poison and do not attack.

This scolopendra leads a nocturnal lifestyle. Predator eating insects caught in the air, amphibians, reptiles and rodents, immobilizing the victim with poison. The poison contains histamine and serotonin, proteins, including protein cardiotoxins, enzymes for partial destruction of tissues. It also contains two different neurotoxin – one paralyzes the nervous system of insects, the other suppresses the nervous system of vertebrates.

It’s painful for a person even a simple touch of poisonous limbs of this millipede. However, poison is not very dangerous and most often causes only a local effect – pain and swelling of the skin. Were separate cases of more serious symptoms, including kidney failure and a heart attack, but deaths after a bite are unknown.

3rd place: Scolopendra subspinipes (up to 20 cm)

Rating: 4.8

Scolopendra subspinipes

Vietnamese, or ginger scolopendra – the third longest in the world, can reach 20 centimeters. It lives in East Asia and Japan, on the islands of the Indian Ocean, in Australia, South and Central America. There are several subspecies. It has 22 segments. Colour bodies – usually red brown or red with orange yellow legs. Some subspecies may be colored differently, for example, have a bluish body color, but the head remains red or ginger.

Habitat – swampy forests. This species eats mostly spiders and scorpions, large individuals can attack mice and small reptiles. Scolopendra grabs prey limbs and then bites the jaws, injecting poison, and after keeps the victim until the animal dies. The poison may be dangerous for humans, once a bite of an individual of this species caused death seven year old girl in the Philippines. There are no deaths of adults fixed. It happens that a scolopendra climbs into shoes and bites man, when he, not noticing the millipede, begins to shoe.

Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans – a subspecies living in China – in Russian is called the Chinese red skolopendra. This smaller variety, only 14-16 centimeters, however also has a strong poison – the mouse dies half a minute after bite. In Chinese traditional medicine is used to treat skin diseases – to the place where a rash or other skin problem, apply the head of a scolopendra.

4th place: Scolopendra cataracta (up to 20 cm)

Rating: 4.7

Scolopendra cataracta

This species is endemic to Southeast Asia, inhabits the territory Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Body color is greenish black, up to 20 centimeters. A feature of this species is the ability swim and spend time under water – if scolopendra is scared, she seeks to hide not in the forest, but in the water stream. In the thicker fluid this millipede is moved using horizontal wave-like body movements can also move along the bottom. The covers of her body are hydrophobic, after going to land they do not remain drops.

It was discovered in 2001 when it arrived in Thailand. English biologist George Beccaloni to celebrate his honey month. Swimming near the waterfall, he was surprised to find a giant scolopendra, which after its appearance tried to hide at the bottom under the stones. The biologist caught her and, placing in a container with water, delivered to the British Museum. However, colleagues did not believe in the existence of a floating scolopendra. Only after 10 years, when still two specimens found in Laos, finding a new species – the first a well-known waterfowl species of scolopendra – was confirmed. View received the name cataracta, which in Latin means “waterfall”.

5th place: Scolopendra alternans (up to 18 cm)

Rating: 4.6

Scolopendra alternans

Scolopendra alternans – a species that inhabits the islands of Central America and the north coast of South America, Cuba, Jamaica, Hawaiian and Virgin Islands. The length reaches 18 centimeters. From Vietnamese is distinguished by a large number of small spikes on the front a pair of paws – at s. their subspinipes are only two to three. This is a rare sign. in scolopendras, except s. alternans, only s has such spikes. galapagoensis and giant scolopendra. Antennas contain 17 segments.

Body color may vary by region. Often found individuals with dark green legs and body, as well as a black head (in the body may be blue), or a green body, yellow legs and a red head. Yellow individuals are found in Florida, on Key West.

The view is sometimes kept in captivity by lovers of exotic animals. Skolopendra needs a constant supply of water, humidity 60-80%, low temperature, close to room temperature (18-21 ° C). Feed her insects, such as cockroaches.

6th place: Scolopendra galapagoensis (up to 17 cm)

Rating: 4.5

Scolopendra galapagoensis

This species lives in the rain forests of North America and the islands. near the mainland – in Ecuador, in the north of Peru, Galapagos, island Chatham and the western slopes of the Andes. Grows up to 17 centimeters long, the body has an average of 20 segments. Has a characteristic color – brown back, blue color of the sides turns into pink. Jaws reds. The antennae have the first 4-7 segments blue with steel shine, the rest are orange or red. Also jaw painted red. The legs are yellow, closer to the body the color turns to orange.

This scolopendra feeds on insects and rodents. The poison is deadly for these animals, but not for humans. Because of her beautiful color held by some amateurs. In captivity, scolopendra is fed with crickets. and cockroaches, occasionally (not more than once a month) you can give mice. This species prefers high humidity (80%) and indoor temperature. It can also breed in captivity, but it often happens, that a centipede disturbed by humans eats its eggs or young.

7th place: Scolopendra viridicornis (up to 16 cm)

Rating: 4.4

Scolopendra viridicornis

Scolopendra viridicornis, or the Amazonian giant scolopendra – a rare species that lives in South America in the Amazon rain forests. It grows up to 16 centimeters in length. Has a head and dark-colored segments with a red border around the edges. Legs yellow with black stripes, the last segments are red, the rear a pair of cherry blossoms. Oblong from other species groove in the middle of the last tergite – spinal half-ring last segment.

The action of the poison of this species was studied in mice. They died from 12.5 mg of poison per kilogram of weight with intramuscular injection and 1.5 mg / kg when given intravenously. A peptide recovered from the poison of this millipede called lacrain. This peptide destroys gram-negative bacteria without destroying blood cells human, which makes it possible to use it as an antibiotic. In Brazilian folk medicine, the poison of this scolopendra is also It is used as an anesthetic.

8th place: Scolopendra hardwickei (up to 16 cm)

Rating: 4.3

Scolopendra hardwickei

S. hardwickei, or Indian tiger scolopendra, lives on Indian Peninsula, Sumatra, Nicobar Islands. Reaches 16 centimeters in length. In addition to size, it has a unique color, color-like boa constrictor – red or orange and black segments bodies follow each other. The legs match the color of the light body segments, with the exception of the very rear pair, which is colored in black.

It feeds and exhibits other activity most often at night, in the afternoon hiding under stones and in holes. Food is mainly insects, can eat young mice. In captivity cannibalism is possible, because contain one by one. Mating, like all scolopendras, occurs by transferring a spermatophore from male to female. Female eggs buries in the ground to a depth of a few centimeters, hatches them and protects the emerged larvae for several months. Adults individuals become at the age of three; this species – up to 7 years.

9th place: Scolopendra polymorpha (up to 16 cm)

Rating: 4.2

Scolopendra polymorpha

S. polymorpha – a species that can be found in Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada. Coloring can be completely different, due to the variety of forms of scolopendra and called polymorpha. Each variety can have its own “commercial” name, for example, “Texas Tiger” or “Arizona” scolopendra. The head is usually red, orange or brown, body segments are lighter, orange or brown with a transverse a dark stripe on each, yellow limbs. Size also happens different, from 10 to 16 centimeters. The antennae have 25-31 segments, 7-12 of them are naked, the rest are covered with bristles.

This species lives in arid places – in deserts, steppes, forests. Often individuals are found in rotting garbage, among boards, logs, old mattresses. In captivity, requires low humidity (35-50%), with its increase increases mortality. It feeds on insects – crickets, Khrushchev, can eat cockroaches. Individuals are active at night and in the morning, the rest of the time is spent in shelter.

10th place: Scolopendra cingulata (up to 15 cm)

Rating: 4.1

Scolopendra cingulata

Ringed Scolopendra – a European species, lives in the south of the mainland and in the Mediterranean, where is the most common species scolopendra. Instances were found in Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy, North Africa. The average length is 10 centimeters, maybe grow up to 15 cm – in Europe it is the largest species. Color striped, golden yellow segments of the body alternate with black. The antennae are blue.

Lives in forests, on the surface of the soil and in soil litter, often near ravines, hiding in fallen leaves. The poison is not very dangerous to humans, weaker than other species. However his portions enough to immobilize the animals that this hunt centipede. This scolopendra is an opportunistic predator, which means that she can eat almost all animals that fit her size. More often all these are insects and lizards.

Since individuals of this species are smaller than representatives species listed above, and their poison is less dangerous, lovers Exotic animals often choose it for home maintenance. Scolopendra cingulata prefers moderate (60-75%) humidity and room temperature.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

Rate article
An online magazine about style, fashion, etiquette, lifestyle, and about choosing the best products and services.
Add a comment