I don’t know anyone (or anything) with as many nicknames as the Scolopendra subspinipes. This species is also called the Hawaiian centipede, Vietnamese centipede, Chinese red head centipede, orange-legged jungle centipede, Asian forest centipede, giant centipede, and who knows how many more names this centipede has. Then again, who wants to be called Scolopendra subspinipes.
The Hawaiian centipede is steadily making a name for itself, especially among visitors. This creature’s large size (and bite) accounts for its popularity. When tourists leave the island, they take back more than just macadamia nuts. A lot of them carry unforgettable memories of the Hawaiian centipede. This arthropod even caught the attention of media folks. Local news media reported that a centipede over a foot long was caught earlier this year. News about this giant centipede quickly spread throughout the mainland. It’s believed to be the Scolopendra subspinipes - and the largest of its kind. This creature was indeed a rare find!
Centipedes are nocturnal creatures that thrive in our tropical climate. They are known to hide in damp areas during day, such as under boards, mulch, and stones. The female also sets her eggs in these concealed habitats or cover them in the soil. She will remain near the habitat until her offsprings are ready to fend for themselves. Centipedes are known to occasionally appear indoors when the weather is cloudy. Any crevices throughout your house gives them access, including windows and doors. They might also sneak indoors when their habitats are disturbed or when hunting for food. Once inside they look for moist areas, especially bathrooms. Centipedes tend to hide in dark spots, such as shoes, clothing, and bedding. One advantage of a centipede inside your home is its appetite for roaches. No, thank you!
Medically important pests
The Hawaiian centipede is considered the only medically significant centipede in Hawaii. To clarify, predicting the course of injury caused by a centipede bite is impossible. This uncertainty places centipedes in a clinically dangerous zone. Centipedes inflict injuries, which can lead to serious illnesses, allergic reactions, wound infections and other health complications. What began as a small bite, may also affect an individual’s heart, kidney or other vital organs. The tricky and (scary) part is that - venom equals unknown results.