Vietnamese Giant/Vietnamese Jungle/Vietnamese Red-Headed Centipede

Vietnamese Giant/Vietnamese Jungle/Vietnamese Red-Headed Centipede Scolopendra subspinipes

Type of Animal:
Scolopendromorph Centipede

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

Native to S & E Asia as well as Australasia. Introduced to W Africa, Hawaii, Central & South America, Caribbean, & S US.

Very large centipede, varies in color but most often red to reddish-brown w/ yellow to yellow-orange legs, 22 body segments w/ each one having pair of legs, pair of modified legs (forcipules) found on head covered by flat shield & has pair of antennae, very long animal, head often reddish or orangish

Spiders, scorpions, vinegaroons, earthworms, roaches, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, beetle larvae, flies, snails, mice, small reptiles, & each other

Status in Wild:


Additional Info:

Young: Stadia
Group: Solitary
Male: 0.07 oz
Female: 0.1 oz
1 month 

Life Span:
10 years

Body Length:
Male: 4-8 in
Female: 7-10 in

Main predators of adults are badgers, shrews, chickens, each other, toads, smaller monitor lizards, armadillos, kookaburras, frogmouths, hornbills, coatis, weasels, & monkeys. Spiders, ants, & ground beetles eat juveniles.
Forcipules used for killing prey as well as defense.
Also called Vietnamese Centipede, Jungle Centipede, Orange-Legged Centipede, Giant Centipede, Red-Headed Centipede, Asian Forest Centipede, & Orange-Legged Jungle 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 once a year shedding exoskeleton. Maturity reached at 3 years old & adults also molt once a year. They often eat shed exoskeletons.
Females wrap around pre-molted offspring to protect them.

Fun Fact(s):
Well-known as escape artists in captivity.
Aboriginal cultures utilize these animals for their meat.
These animals react & move very fast.
These centipedes extremely defensive, readily attacking any threat.
These centipedes have very painful venomous bites often requiring hospitalization. Deaths have occurred on rare occasions.

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