Any ideas what type of centipede this is? Is is harmful? It was found in a garage in a subdivision about 20 miles south of Tucson, AZ.

I don’t know your species but it is surely beautiful. If it bites, you will probably have minor irritation because of the poison fangs. Not serious though.

Ed. Note: WE just received this letter with an identification.
(08/11/2005) Centipede species ID
Hi, Great site! The link was posted on an arachnid (mostly couple subforums devoted to vertebrates, myriapods, and other insects) forum that I frequent (Arachnoboards). Spent about 20 minutes looking through the beetle pictures and found it instantly helpful for a beetle my gf found in our apartment a couple days ago (false bombardier beetle, I forget the scientific name I’m better with tarantula/scorpion names). Anyway, the main reason I’m sending you this email is that there is a picture of a centipede that you have listed as unidentified. Orangish-red body, yellow legs, black head and the submitter being from the desert southwest ( Arizona to be specific) it is a Scolopendra heros but I’m not sure on the subspecies. I wanted to say S. heros castaneiceps but the color pattern is almost reversed as they have a black body/tail with a red head, then again with centipedes and especially Scolopendras, color patterns aren’t the most reliable L Anyway, you should be safe to say it is a Scolopendra heros, we have S. polymorpha here in the US as well but their color patterns are significantly different as far as I know. Regardless, Scolopendras have some rather nasty venom and centipede size is often proportional to amount of venom injected, S. subspinipes from the tropics are reportedly as painful as a male platypus (some say they wouldn’t wish it on their enemies or would’ve rather cut the offending limb off) even morphine has little to no effect on the pain. I did read some medical articles that were published on the internet and one was a study of centipede envenomations in the United States . Heat would actually reduce the pain such as a warm wash cloth. If you would like more info on this genus let me know, I know some people on that forum who are quite knowledgeable in regards to centipedes (one of the mods is working on a master’s in Entomology, scorpions, as well). And again, excellent site and very helpful as a quick reference I’ve been looking for one for a few months now but no luck through Google somehow lol. Best Wishes,

Location: Arizona

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