Giant Red Headed Centipede from Texas

Big ol’ centipede?
I found this big critter right outside my front door this morning. I found your site a short time later – and think it just an Austin Texas sized multi-colored centipede. I saw a few really good pictures on similar ones on your site, but didn’t see many that provided a good indicator of the overall size, so I’ve attached a picture of it on a one dollar bill with bricks in background. Please let me know if I did a bad thing by putting it back in the flower bed. Thanks,
Steve W

Hi Steve,
You really know how to “do the right thing” and releasing your gorgeous Giant Red Headed Centipede, Scolopendra heros, is an excellent example. It is true that centipedes are venomous, and the bite of the Giant Red Headed Centipede is said to be quite painful, but the species is a valuable predator in the ecosystem that will rid your garden of many unwanted creatures. Centipedes are not aggressive and will not bit a human unles mishandled or otherwise provoked.

Edibility Update: (05/08/2008)
Edibility update: big centipedes!
Hi Daniel,
Sometime this year I’m going to finally dine on one of these large centipedes. They’re traditionally consumed in…. in….. well darn it, of all the edible insects/arachnids/other arthropods I’ve learned about, I can’t recall exactly where it’s eaten. I’ll hazard Peru. More importanly, David George Gordon’s Eat-A-Bug Cookbook features a recipe, so that makes it totally legit. All the best,

5 thoughts on “Giant Red Headed Centipede from Texas”

  1. The giant red-headed centipede is common where I live (Osage County, Oklahoma). About the longest I’ve measured is 9 inches. They can probably get bigger. I get them in the house (rarely).


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