Giant Red-Headed Centipede

When seeing Giant Red-Headed Centipede, it is possible that many enter in panic. Giant Red-Headed Centipede is a strange animal, with an elongated body and a lot of legs, to which it owes its name: Centipedes. Giant Red-Headed Centipede weighs 3 grams but can kill a mouse in 30 seconds, are predators really bigger than their prey? The answer is no, and one of the best examples is perhaps the Giant Red-Headed Centipede.

With 3 grams on the scale, this Giant Red-Headed Centipede may seem harmless, but it is not. The Giant Red-Headed Centipede can kill a 45-gram mouse in 30 seconds according to an expert. In general, the centipede has between 15 and 170 pairs of legs, which have spines and nails. It is part of the arthropod family, specifically of the Myriapoda class.

There are a variety of species, some more dangerous than others, but they have in common their narrow form and their large number of extremities, deployed in segments.Thanks to the Giant Red-Headed Centipede rings, which are articulated, they can move and twist. In two of its legs have glands that are highly poisonous.

Characteristics Of The Giant Red-Headed Centipede

The two legs of the terminal segment are not used to walk, but to defend themselves and attract the opposite sex. Right there are the sexual organs. Some centipedes have them exposed, so it is easy to differentiate the male from the female. Only the Giant Red-Headed Centipedes are distinguished by their size. The female is longer as well as wider than the male type.

Most centipedes are opaque brown. In the head, the Giant Red-Headed Centipedes have two jaws and two long antennas that guide them through space, because their eyes give them little vision of their surroundings. Some are blind, depending on the habitat in which they develop.

The largest and poisonous centipedes are called scolopendra. The largest one found so far was found in Colombia. It measures 24 centimeters and has a poisonous tusk behind the head.

The most powerful of the Giant Red-Headed Centipede’s poisons contains acetylcholine, histamine, and serotonin. In certain species are also present substances such as 5-hydroxytryptamine, hemolytic phospholipase and cardiotoxic, which can be dangerous.

Centipedes Feeding

These animals are powerful predators since they feed on every insect that crawls on the ground, including worms and molluscs. They devour everything, including the eggs of their young, and that's why the females protect their children by taking them to a hiding place.

At the time of eating the Giant Red-Headed Centipedes are very aggressive and fight tirelessly for their prey. To attack them they make use of their poison, which paralyzes their victim. When the centipede is attacked, it is not easy to catch it, because it is fast, elusive and usually buried in the ground, managing to sneak between the sand or the branches.

The Giant Red-Headed Centipedes are terrestrial, but they like wet areas and darkness. In times of drought, they spend almost all of their time underground. It is possible to find a centipede in almost all the world, because they adapt easily to any climate, mainly to the temperate and tropical zones.

Like some species of the animal kingdom, among the capacities of Giant Red-Headed Centipedes is that of being able to regenerate. When they are in need of losing some of their limbs to save their life, they grow back after some time.

Reproduction, Behavior, And Habitat

Deserts, jungles, mountains, forests, savannas, almost any place is suitable for the development of a centipede. The trees, barks, gardens, and plants are also common habitat areas for these species that enter the houses, becoming a problem for some folks.

Giant Red-Headed Centipedes reproduce indirectly. Through spermatophores, sperm pass from male to female. The female usually lays the eggs in the sand and then surrounds it to protect them from predators.

Centipedes Are Millenary

Many are unaware that centipedes are among the oldest animals in the world. Specialists have found fossils dating back some 400 million years ago. The Giant Red-Headed Centipede was identical to the creature we know today, but it was 2 meters long. Everything indicates that these bugs continued to evolve, as it is estimated that there are currently about 8,000 species on the planet, although only about 3000 have been studied.

A Toxin That Targets The Potassium Channels

According to the results obtained by the biologists, the venom efficiency of these Giant Red-Headed Centipedes would come largely from one of its compounds out there. This toxin forces the closure of the potassium channels, a kind of pores on the cell membrane that allow potassium out of the cell.

This action is fatal for the prey:  The special study shows that the poison of the Giant Red-Headed Centipede has actually evolved to concurrently disrupt the very cardiovascular, also respiratory, even the muscular as well as the nervous systems by aiming the potassium channels that are very numerous in the body, note a researcher in his post.

Epilepsy Treatment To Treat Bitten People

With this discovery, they were able to find an antidote capable of treating the bites of these arthropods: retigabine. This compound, present in the treatment of epilepsy, induces the opening of potassium channels. The researchers demonstrated that she was able to neutralize the venom. The discovery of an antidote is far from being incidental in areas that harbor poisonous centipedes.


For example, in Hawaii centipede bites were responsible for 11% of emergency room visits between 2007 and 2011. And the symptoms following the bites are very generally serious: hypertension, respiratory problems, vasospasms and sometimes even bitten people succumb. The effectiveness of retigabine against this venom is a welcome discovery.


The giant centipede has a poisonous tusk behind its head, Giant Red-Headed Centipede is typical of the Atlantic coast, between Colombia and Venezuela, although it is also found in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad, Jamaica, and Hispaniola as well as some other places. The Giant Red-Headed Centipede gigantea is an example of the great diversity of families, genera, and species that Colombia has and that, according to an expert, is still unknown treasure. This carnivore feeds on lizards, frogs, mouse and birds, mice, bats and also tarantulas.

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