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Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
giant desert centipede

DESCRIPTION: L=up to 8" (20cm). Flattened body is overall orangish with black bands and black head and rear segments. They have one pair of yellow legs per body segment. The last pair of legs are orangish and held up which makes them look like the antennae (making it difficult for predators to determine which end is the head).
NATURAL HISTORY: Venomous, but not dangerously venomous. In front of the foremost legs are structures called gnathosomes that are pincer-like and inject venom (painful, but not dangerous to humans). Giant Desert Centipedes are fast-moving, nocturnal predators that eat mostly insects, but will feed on other small creatures, including small rodents. During the day, they spend their time in burrows or under objects. Unlike millipedes that abandon their eggs, female centipedes will guard and groom their eggs and hatchlings until a few days after birth.