Scolopendra gigantea

Teacher Ben (NB. not our Ben) was dressing this morning, when to his sock drawer – and saw …. one of these:








He called out (loudly!) to Dorca, who proceeded to hit it with a shoe.  Then hit it some more.  Then she took it outside and set it on fire.

According to wikipedia ( which is also where the photo came from – thanks wikipedia):

Scolopendra gigantea (also known as Peruvian giant yellowleg centipede and Amazonian giant centipede) is the largest representative of the genus Scolopendra, regularly reaching lengths of 26 cm (10 in) and can exceed 30 cm (12 in). It inhabits the northern and western regions of South America and the islands of Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Hispaniola.

It is carnivorous, feeding on insects, lizards, frogs, birds, mice, and even bats. It is also known to prey on tarantulas. The body consists of 21 to 23 segments which are coppery red or maroon in color, each with a pair of yellow-tinted legs; the legs are adapted for fast walking. The centipede has modified claws called forcipules which curve around its head and can deliver venom into its prey. The extremely potent venom, containing acetylcholine, histamine and serotonin (pain mediators), proteases and a cardiodepressant factor, is toxic to humans and causes severe swelling, chills, fever, and weakness. Although bites are painful, they are very unlikely to be fatal to humans

I’ll be checking carefully in my undies drawer tomorrow……


  1. Lin says:

    My kids think it’s COOL! x

  2. Mandy and the Rees boys says:

    This looks like something that could go in one of Lin’s recipes!

  3. Sharon and Beth says:

    Yep nearly as scary as the rattle snake Beth stepped over in Napa Valley in the summer!

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