Giant Redheaded Centipede, Scolopendra heros

The Scolopendra heros, also referred to as the Giant Redheaded Centipede, calls parts of the southern central and southwestern United States, as well as a significant portion of Mexico, its home. It has not been found west of the Colorado River.

Varying in length from 6.5 to 8 inches, its trunk has 21 to 23 pairs of legs. The body is aposematically colored. This is a defensive coloration meant to scare off potential predators. There are several color varients within the species, depending on location.

S. heros typically prefers to remain underground. Above ground activity usually occurs when the sky is overcast.

While bites from S. heros are venomous, no deaths have been verified as having been a result of a bite from this or any other centipede, according to a comment by Rowland M. Shelley, PhD.

Image Caption: Scolopendra heros. Credit: John/Wikipedia  (CC BY 2.0)