Sunday, July 12, 2015

Red Centipedes (Scolopocryptops sexspinosus)


Two large Red Centipedes in their nests under a large rock in the Great Smoky Mountains where I was doing some landscaping. The largest at over three inches long is about as big as they get in this area. They are bright red for a reason - it says don't mess with me! It lives in a cavity nest under the rock, the other centipede nearby is much smaller and may be a juvenile. They are generally solitary creatures and can be found under rocks and logs. They are carnivorous eating mainly insects and will give a very nasty bite if messed with. Fortunately their nature is to live in places people don't generally frequent and they run really fast or hide if bothered. They are beneficial if outside where they belong. I do not suggest poking one with a stick! The most likely scenario for a human bite is when doing yard-work and picking up pile of leaves, sticks and yard debris that has been laying around - they might panic and run up your arm or leg - sorry for that imagery, but I'm trying to help. Personally I always wears pants, long sleeves and gloves when doing serious outside work.

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Red Centipedes (Scolopocryptops sexspinosus)