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Amazonian Giant Centipede

Scolopendra gigantea Linnaeus 1758

Conservation Status

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There is no indication that this species is in any way endangered.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
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Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
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Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Benefits

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The poison emitted by the bite of Scolopendra gigantea is strong enough to seriously wound a human.

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Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
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Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Benefits

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Because they feed on many insects and other "pests," Scolopendra gigantea are valuable to gardeners and farmers in keeping the potential pest populations down. Also, centipedes in general are becoming popular terrarium pets.

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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Trophic Strategy

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Giant centipedes are voracious carnivores that feed on small invertebrates such as crickets, worms, snails and roaches, and can also eat lizards, toads and mice.

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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Distribution

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Scolopendra gigantea inhabits tropical and subtropical forests in northern South America.

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Animal Diversity Web

Habitat

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Since they have no waxy covering on their cuticle, centipedes are limited to living in humid environments, and can usually be found in soil, leaf litter, or rotten wood.

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Animal Diversity Web

Morphology

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Centipedes are dorsoventrally flattened, and their bodies are divided into well-marked segments, each of which is flattened. Each body segment has a pair of legs, which means that there is always an odd number of leg pairs ranging from 21 to 23. Their rear legs are spiny in order to ward off potential predators. The legs on the first body segment are modified into venom-bearing fangs called maxillipeds that centipedes use to hunt their food. They have mandibles, which are a modified pair of legs that end in a sharp claw into which a poison gland opens. The mandibles are used for seizing and killing prey. Centipedes have long, many-jointed antenna, simple or no eyes, and a head covered by a flat shield. Their brain is relatively large and connected with a ventral chain of ganglia. Their heart is a chambered dorsal vessel. Centipedes breath through openings called spiracles, which are located between the upper and lower chitinous shields and just behind the legs. They lead into tracheal chambers that then branch off to supply the various parts of the body with oxygen. Scolopendra gigantea has spiracles located at segments 4,6,8,11,13,15,17,19, and 21. Because of these openings, centipedes can lose a lot of water quickly and dehydration can occur. A normal lifespan for S. gigantea is about ten years, and this species can grow to be 12 inches long.

Range mass: 0 to 0 kg.

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cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
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Animal Diversity Web

Reproduction

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The difference of the sexes is hard to detect, even in adults. Because the male has no copulatory organs, he must spin a small silk pad and then deposit his sperm on it. Then, the female picks up the sperm and lays her eggs.

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copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Meshew, C. 2001. "Scolopendra gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Scolopendra_gigantea.html
author
Catherine Meshew, Southwestern University
editor
Stephanie Fabritius, Southwestern University
original
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Animal Diversity Web

Scolopendra gigantea

provided by wikipedia EN

 src=
Giant Centipede. Scolopendra gigantea. Trinidad, West Indies.

Scolopendra gigantea, also known as the Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede or Amazonian giant centipede, is a centipede in the genus Scolopendra. It is the largest centipede species in the world, with a length exceeding 30 centimetres (12 in).[1] It is found in various places throughout South America and the Caribbean, where it preys on a wide variety of animals, including other sizable arthropods, amphibians, mammals and reptiles.[2]

Distribution and habitat

It is naturally found in northern South America. Countries from which verified museum specimens have been collected include Aruba, Brazil, Curaçao, Colombia, Venezuela (including Margarita Island) and Trinidad.[1] Records from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hispaniola (both Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Mexico, Puerto Rico and Honduras are assumed to be accidental introductions or labeling errors.[1]

Scolopendra gigantea can be found in tropical or sub-tropical rainforest and tropical dry forest.

Behavior and diet

It is a carnivore that feeds on any other animal it can overpower and kill. It is capable of overpowering not only other invertebrates such as large insects, spiders, millipedes, scorpions, and even tarantulas, but also small vertebrates including small lizards, frogs (up to 95 mm long), snakes (up to 25 cm long), sparrow-sized birds, mice, and bats.[2] Large individuals of S. gigantea have been known to employ unique strategies to catch bats in which they climb cave ceilings and hold or manipulate their heavier prey with only a few legs attached to the ceiling.[2]

Predators

Animals that prey on giant centipedes include larger snakes, lizards, scorpions, birds, and mammals such as mongooses.[3]

Venom

At least one human death has been attributed to the venom. In 2014, a four-year-old child in Venezuela died after being bitten by a giant centipede which was hidden inside an open soda can. Researchers at Universidad de Oriente later confirmed the specimen to be S. gigantea.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c R. M. Shelley & S. B. Kiser (2000). "Neotype designation and a diagnostic account for the centipede, Scolopendra gigantea L. 1758, with an account of S. galapagoensis Bollman 1889 (Chilopoda Scolopendromorpha Scolopendridae)". Tropical Zoology. 13 (1): 159–170. doi:10.1080/03946975.2000.10531129.
  2. ^ a b c A. Arends; R. J. Márquez (2005). "Predation by giant centipedes, Scolopendra gigantea, on three species of bats in a Venezuelan cave" (PDF). Caribbean Journal of Science. 41 (2): 340–346.
  3. ^ https://sta.uwi.edu/fst/lifesciences/sites/default/files/lifesciences/documents/ogatt/Scolopendra_gigantea%20-%20Giant%20Centipede.pdf
  4. ^ Aguilera, María; Díaz, Gienah (13 November 2014). "Niño de 4 años murió tras ser picado por ciempiés gigante". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
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Scolopendra gigantea: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN
 src= Giant Centipede. Scolopendra gigantea. Trinidad, West Indies.

Scolopendra gigantea, also known as the Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede or Amazonian giant centipede, is a centipede in the genus Scolopendra. It is the largest centipede species in the world, with a length exceeding 30 centimetres (12 in). It is found in various places throughout South America and the Caribbean, where it preys on a wide variety of animals, including other sizable arthropods, amphibians, mammals and reptiles.

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Wikipedia authors and editors
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