Chinese Giant Tiger Leg Centipede

Chinese Giant Tiger Leg Centipede Scolopendra hainanum

Type of Animal:
Scolopendromorph Centipede

Under stones/wood/logs/leaf litter, crevices, in litter/soil, forests

S China & Hainan Island

Very large long centipede, dark body, orangish legs w/ black stripes, reddish-orange head/terminal legs, females larger than males, females have more visible striping

Insects, insect larvae, spiders, scorpions, vinegaroons, earthworms, snails, mice, small reptiles, & each other

Status in Wild:

Captive breeding


Additional Info:

Young: Stadia
Group: Solitary

Male: 0.05-0.06 oz
Female: 0.09-0.1 oz

1 month

Life Span:
5-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 5-6 in
Female: 6-8 in

Main predators of adults are badgers, shrews, chickens, each other, toads, smaller monitor lizards, weasels, & monkeys. Spiders, ants, & ground beetles eat juveniles.

Modified legs (forcipules) used for killing prey as well as defense.

Also called Hainan Giant Centipede.

Active at night (nocturnal).

Since they have poor vision, they mostly rely on touch & chemoreceptors.

Breathe through spiracles (openings located along sides of body).

Males deposit spermatophores (mature sperm cells) in female’s spermathecae (reproductive reservoir) during mating. Female fertilizes oocytes (eggs)), depositing them in dark protected area. Females deposit 50-80 eggs, which she protects until 1st molt.

After hatching, centipedes molt at least once a year shedding exoskeleton. Maturity reached at 1-2 years old. They often eat shed exoskeletons.

Researchers studying centipede venom believing possible medicinal value in treatment of human diseases.

Get tiger leg name due to appearance of legs.

Coloration can serve as warning to potential predators.

While they can be dangerous, they do keep populations of potential pests in check.

Having many legs aids them in speed.

Fun Fact(s):
These centipedes can reach into the air to grab flying insects.

Sometimes kept as pets.

These centipedes extremely defensive, readily attacking any threat.

These centipedes have very painful venomous bites often requiring hospitalization. Deaths have occurred on rare occasions. 

Well-known as escape artists in captivity.

These animals react & move very fast.

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