Giant House Centipede from Hong Kong: Thereuopoda sp

Subject: Giant house centipede thing, a foot long.
Location: Hong kong
March 24, 2014 8:24 pm
This insect was found in the school playground this morning. I did some research and it looks like a house centipede, but it only has 14 legs, 7 pairs. Also it is massive. From antenna to antenna is about 26 cm, and the body is about 8 cm, as you can see in the pic. It is march, and it seems like the winter has just broken and spring weather has come out. It was dead, but it was still occasionally twitching. Is it dangerous? Are there going to be more?
Signature: Justin

Giant "House" Centipede
Giant “House” Centipede

Dear Justin,
In our opinion, this is a member of the order Scutigeromorpha, commonly called the House Centipedes, though we cannot say for certain if this is a species that typically inhabits homes.  By North American standards, it is huge, but we don’t know if this individual’s size is unusual in Hong Kong.  There is another member of the order from Hong Kong represented online with the same image on several websites, including FlickR, and it is being called a Cave Centipede.  We counted 14 pairs of legs on your photo, and the one pair of antennae are on the left side of your image.  The appendages on the right side of the image are the final pair of really long legs.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults possess 15 pairs of very long legs that become progressively longer caudally.”  We imagine that large House Centipedes might bite a person, and though common domestic species are not considered dangerous, we cannot say for certain that your individual is harmless.  We cannot predict if you will encounter more.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information on the Hong Kong Scutigeromorphs.

Thank you for the information clarification about this insect, it really baffled everyone i asked.
Sorry about the amount of legs I said, that was a mistake.
Justin H

Actually, we would like to make another correction.  Centipedes are NOT insects.  They are classified with Insects in the phyllum Arthropoda.  Insects have three pairs of legs.

Giant "House" Centipede
Giant “House” Centipede

A related request, we surmise
Subject: Bug In my school can you help??
Location: Hong Kong
March 24, 2014 8:22 pm
Hey there was a centipede in my schools sience room 24cm long, and I don’t have a pitcher but I can try to get u one I think that is house centipede but I’m not sure what it is I have looked all over the web and that’s the only one that I could find so my friend said that u could help, I need to know what it is can u help.
Signature: Name

Dear Name,
Please look at this related posting.

Update:  April 7, 2014
We just received numerous comments from Greg Pelka who graciously identified many of our Centipedes.  He believes this is a
Thereuopoda species and we found a few very impressive images on the Magigugu website.


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