Hawaiian Centipedes | Largest Centipede Species in Hawaii

When it comes to Hawaii, the first impression by most individual is a beautiful place like a paradise. But, you may be surprised to know that it is also the home of the largest species of centipede that is on the current record of the scientists. The average length of a fully matured Hawaiian centipede can actually grow between 5 to 9 inches long. Although, there were some witnesses who claimed that they have even seen longer sizes.

Since Hawaii is a tourist attraction, most of the vacationers are the once who often encounters large crawling centipedes either inside or outside their rooms. And as their natural reaction, they usually panic in fear that the insect might bite them. As for the permanent residents, they already got used to the presence of these large sized centipedes around their surroundings.

Hawaii is highly populated with large centipedes that the residents have developed the habit of ensuring their safety from getting bitten (Hawaiian centipede bite can actually inflict the most excruciating pain as compared to all other centipede species). So when they go out, it became a common practice that they always shake or inspect their clothing before wearing them. You may be surprised to know that there were already countless number of individuals that got bitten by the insect by simply "not checking" and directly wearing their clothes.

There was actually one reported incident that went viral around the internet which involved a Hawaiian centipede and a certain guy who went surfing on the beach. According to the report, he was a tourist who took a vacation along with his friends in Hawaii.

Due to their excitement, the victim removed and thrown his jeans onto the floor then immediately wore his board-shorts for surfing. He and his friends then went surfing where they enjoyed and had so much fan until they came back. Unfortunately, the victim wasn't aware that a centipede crawled inside his pants but being unaware about the presence of the insect, he wore it. As a result he got bitten by the creature.

According to the report, the victim was bitten three to four times starting from his thigh down to his ankle. These bites had immediately sent him into the hospital for treatment.

While crying in pain, none of his friends didn't even attempt to help the victim in fear that the centipede may also bite them.

Origin of the Hawaiian Centipedes

Large crawling centipedes of Hawaii didn't really originated from the country itself where it was introduced by the Polynesian Voyagers in 1847. And, it was not just introduced in Hawaii but also the entire Pacific and Tropical regions. Until now, their purpose for introducing these pesky insects remains unknown.

Hawaiian Large Centipede

Moreover, Hawaiian centipedes thrives on warm and dry areas. So when it rains, it stirs them from their hideouts to come out and crawl all over various places. Thus, it is common to encounter them under tarps, plant pots, car tires or any objects on the floor that can provide cover for the insects to hide.
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Revenge of the House Centipedes

It is actually very funny that some people who encountered a house centipede and killed them have develop a sense of fear that the insect's companions will seek revenge for their fallen comrade. So the question is, "Do house centipede really knows how to seek revenge?".

Before we answer that question, let me share you some interesting experiences of different individuals regarding about this subject.

1. A Mother who Protected her Baby

A certain mother's house was crawling with centipedes. Until, there was one time that a 2 inches long house centipede came close enough to her baby. Being too protective that the insect will harm her baby, she immediately nailed the crawling insect down on the floor.

After taking the life of the many legged-creature, the mother had develop a sense of fear that the family or relatives of the centipede that she killed might come back to seek for revenge.

2. A Guy who Smashed a Centipede

There was a guy who was about to fall asleep. When he was about to close his eyes, a house centipede had suddenly crawled on the ceiling of his bedroom. He thought that the centipede was planning on jumping over his face to he immediately woke up and smashed the centipede with his own fist.

From that time on-wards, he keeps on seeing more centipedes gathering around his room with the feeling of fear that they seem to be waiting for the perfect opportunity to take revenge from their fallen comrade.

3. A Person who Killed Several Centipedes

A certain person had moved into an old apartment where he wasn't expecting it to be infested with house centipedes. Since the only possible option he had was to smash the insects, he was able to take down several of them. Yet, the centipedes seems to have an endless number. In short, they keep on coming back running around the corners, walls and ceiling.

According to this person, one of the centipede had bitten his right hand during the first night of his sleep on his newly rented apartment. He thought that the insects were taking their revenge so early in the morning, he packed all of his things and left.

Not Intelligent

Now to answer the question above, house centipedes are not intelligent creatures. They don't have the feeling or emotion that can anger them to seek revenge against those who killed one of their kind. Even a mother centipede who aggressively protect its offspring or eggs won't bother seeking for revenge if it happens that you killed its offspring or destroyed its eggs.

Overall, house centipedes taking their revenge is just an over exaggeration of a certain individual's own interpretation with his or her surroundings.
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Physical Anatomy of Centipedes

Believe it or not, centipedes are not just composed of body segments, multiple legs and forcipules which are clearly visible on their physical appearance. Centipedes may seem like simple creatures but they are not. They actually have an interesting and complex "anatomy".

Similar to the arthropods, centipedes do not have an internal skeleton which explains why they feel "squishy" when held by hand. Instead of an internal skeleton, they have a "cuticle exoskeleton" which usually protects their vulnerable organs and soft bodies.

Their exoskeleton has something called "chitin" which can be found in the shells of the sea creatures such as crab shell. In addition, centipedes have multiple cuticle layers. The first layer is the skin (in scientific term, it's called "epidermis"). But unlike other arthropods, centipedes do not have a waxy outer cuticle.

Since the body of a centipede lacks a waxy cuticle, it is common for them to die from dehydration. It is due to this reason why they joyfully inhabit hot climates. They actually reside under rocks, in soil and near the water as it allows them to conserve water and prevents them from dehydration.

Going back into the exoskeleton of a centipede, scientists had discovered it as "non-living" which means, it does not grow. Thus, when the centipede grow, its exoskeleton stays the same exact size from the time that the creature was hatched. As a result, the exoskeleton can get extremely tight that the centipedes may need to shed their exoskeleton to grow a new one. In fact, this process is referred by researchers as "molting".

The other parts of the centipede body include a long antennae (most species has an average length of 1 to 2 inches long) and many pairs of legs. Depending on the type of centipede specie, they can have anywhere between 15 pairs of legs to a whopping 141 pairs of legs. Additionally, centipedes possess a head and a pseudo-head (which is a sort of defense mechanism).

It is known that all species of centipedes choose to prey on insects. Their strategic hunting style is to surprise attack their prey using their forcipules attached into their real head. If they managed to successfully embed their jaws and delivered some amount of venom, this causes an immediate effect which paralyze their prey.

Centipedes actually have multi-jointed antennae and jaws that are connected into their forcipules which are filled with poison. And above all, their jaw is located behind their head which they use to kill their prey.

Anamorphy and Epimorphy of Centipedes Legs

Everybody know that it is common to all kinds of centipedes that they have dozen pairs of legs. One interesting fact about their legs is that, most of them actually grow their legs at different rates. These rates has been classified by the scientists as "Anamorphic" and "Epimorphic".

The growth rate of centipedes depends on several factors which include their class, age and status of their evolution. But in general, any centipedes that almost complete the number of their legs during their molting period is categorized as anamorphic. As for those who almost complete their legs before they go through their molting period is categorized as epimosphic. Newly hatched centipedes start off with only a dozen pair of legs or less. Usually they have no more than 4 or 10 legs and no more than 12 or 15 legs.


There are two common species of centipedes that undergoes anamorphic growth rate of their legs. They are the Scutigera Coleoptrata (commonly known as the "American House Centipede") and Craterostigmomorpha. On their early stage of being hatched, they have 4 to 6 legs. And once they go through their first molt, they grow another four legs.

When they reached an age of 6 months to 1 year-old, they have completed all of their legs. Female centipedes with up to 15 legs are considered as sexually mature adult which they are ready to produce their own young.


Just like anamorphy, epimorphy is also commonly observed from two species which are the Geophilomorpha and Scolopendromorpha. Surprisingly, these two kinds of centipedes already have their complete set of legs when they are embryos. They got up to 12 or more legs and once born, they have their complete legs.

Females actually have some slight differences to the males. It's because female centipedes usually have more number of legs than the males. To be more specific, the females can have over 15 total number of legs while the males can only have between 8 to 12 legs.

House Centipede Anatomy

Overall, despite of the simple appearance of centipedes, the anatomy of their body are composed of interesting parts which are a lot more than meets the eye.
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Do House Centipedes Bite a Sleeping Person?

If it happens that your house is hardly infested with house centipedes, you might have already experienced where these insects disturbed your comfortable-sleep several times. There may also be some cases that they crawled under your shirt and even onto your face. Worst, they bit you where you woke up crying in pain.

So the question is, "Do house centipedes really intentionally bite a sleeping person?".

House centipedes are low-intelligent life-forms. This means that they don't have the capability to think like us. They are simply acting according to their natural behavior which is to keep hunting for their food. So in the first place, they really don't intend to harm humans. Although, they may fight back when feel threatened.

When a house centipede crawl onto your body, you will be perfectly fine as long as you remain stable on your sleeping position. However, it is impossible for anyone not to move or change sleeping positions from time-to-time. So if it happens that a centipede crawled under your shirt and you moved at a position where you squeezed the insect, you will surely get bitten.

Sleeping Comfortably

Anyway, there are still some possible ways on how to prevent house centipedes from crawling onto your body while you are asleep. Here are some of the following effective tips that might work:

1. Turn the Lights ON

Centipedes are afraid of bright environment. So if you sleep with the lights turned ON, they won't even dare to come close near you. Although, your electric bill will add up.

2. Shake Everything before you Sleep

Shake everything on your bed which include your pillow, bed sheet and bedding. This is to get rid of the any possible centipedes hiding underneath them.

3. Pray for your Safety

If you have a certain religion that you believe then include in your prayers about your safety against centipede bites throughout the whole night.

House Centipede Inside the Mouth of a Sleeping Individual

Is it really possible that a house centipede may choose to get inside the mouth of a certain sleeping individual?

There was a guy who claimed to have a habit of unconsciously opening his mouth when fallen asleep. And since his room was fully infested with house centipedes, he was always worried that a centipede might crawl inside and worse, the insect could bite either his tongue or gums.

The probability that a house centipede will crawl inside a sleeping individual's mouth is very low. But, it could still happen. Thus, it's always best to find a solution because it's better to be safe than sorry.

If it happens that you are suffering from this kind of condition, some medical experts claim that you can use a handkerchief and tie it from your jaw around your head. First, roll your handkerchief then place the middle portion of it below your jaw then wrap the two ends around your head. Second, tie both ends on the top of your head. Although, this method is not recommended for those who have trouble breathing in their nose (particularly those who are suffering from sinus problems).

The best method though is actually, to get rid of the house centipedes. It's because once you completely got rid of them, you can safely sleep at any comfortable position.
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Symptoms and Treatments of Centipede Bites

Centipedes bites to human victims don't frequently happen in the United States unlike bites from other common insects such as ants, bees, wasps and hornets. But at some point, you can also become one of the most unfortunate individual that can be the next victim of a centipede bite.

Common to all centipedes is their maxillipeds (also known as their "poison claws") which is located on their head allowing them to easily bite into their prey. They actually have a very painful bite which depends on their size. Bigger-sized centipedes can really induce extremely painful bite. When bitten against other insects, their venom can immediately take effect which can immobilize and numb their prey.

What really makes centipedes a frightening creature is that they do not only go after insects but also attack anyone who might cause harm to them. Common human victims are gardeners who often find themselves getting bitten by centipedes while tending into their plants or flower beds.

So far, the good news about centipede bites is that there have been no records of deaths or major health crises about it. However, those that have the greatest risk of major health problems from an insect bite are the elderly, children and those who are allergic to insects.

Symptoms of a Centipede Bite

There are some rare cases where you can get bitten by a centipede without you knowing what exactly bit you. It's because they are quite speedy creatures that they can ran away unnoticed. Thus, here are the following symptoms to determine a centipede bite:

1. Two Punctured Wounds

If you take a close look into the wound, you should notice two punctured wounds which is due to the insect's modified jaws. You may want to use a magnifying glass if you have poor-eyesight.

2. Extreme Pain

Once got bitten by the insect, the victim will experience a terrifying pain. The pain can be experienced for several period of hours but for some individuals, it could last for several days.

The bitten portion will turn red, numb and swell.

3. Effects of the Bite

Aside from the painful bite of the centipede, the victim will also experience the following after-effect symptoms of the bite:

a. Intense itching
b. Local tenderness
c. Headache
d. Swollen lymph
e. Dizziness
f. Nausea
g. Palpitations
h. Anxiety
i. High blood pressure
j. Local tissue damage

Treating a Centipede Bite

If you got bit by a centipede, sad to say that you really have to endure the pain but rest assured that you will be fine unless you are allergic to the bite. Anyway, here are the following steps on how to treat a centipede bite:

1. Wash the Wound

When you got bitten by a centipede, the first important step that you need to do is to wash your wound with anti-bacterial soap (such as safeguard) and clean water to prevent infection.

2. Apply a Cold Ice

To help relieve the pain, you can apply a cold ice or water into the bitten area for at least 10 minutes.

3. Seek Medical Care

If you are experiencing several symptoms (mentioned above), you are advised to seek immediate medical help.

Flower Garden

Overall, to reduce the risk of centipede bites it is highly recommended to wear gloves when working in the garden. As for the young children, parents should keep them supervised if playing with soil to prevent them from picking up a centipede.
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Pregnant Women and Unborn Baby Died | Insect Bite

In Kuala Selangor, there was an incident where a pregnant women along with her unborn child had died from a centipede bite.

According to the news report, the whole incident occurred when Azlina Saian (33 years-old) got bitten by a centipede. Unfortunately, she didn't know what kind of insect had actually bit her. She simply thought that it was an ant so she simply laid down on the floor and watched on the television with her husband.


The biting incident occurred inside their house in Kampung Tanjung siam Baru on December 29th. Both husband and wife thought that the bit was caused by just an ordinary insect. So the husband Abdul Rahman Samad (37 years-old) had instructed her wife to apply some ointment-disinfectant.

After a few hours later, Azlina's face started to swell then followed by a high fever.

In the next early morning, some worker came to clean their house and claimed that she found some small centipedes on Azlina's pillow. The pillow that the victim used from the time that she got bitten.

In the next following day, Azlina's condition became a lot more worse where she started to bleed from the gums. Due to such serious symptoms, her husband rushed her into the Tanjung Karang Hospital. And from that same time, Azlina claims that she can feel their baby dying.

After some physical examinations from the clinical doctors, they had a bad news to Abdul Rahman. The fetus carried by her wife had died. But, the problem didn't end there yet. Azlina's condition even become more severe that she was transferred into a better hospital, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang.

According to the further statement of Abdul Rahman, her wife was bleeding a lot on her nose including under her fingernails which was a very strange case for a centipede bite. Her body even refuses blood transfusion. As a result, Azlina died at exactly 8:15 AM. Based from HTAT director, Dr. Yahaya Baba, she died from "Septicaemic" (blood poisoning) and shock which is also known as "Septic Shock".

Blood Poisoning

In your own opinion, do you think that the venom of a house centipede is capable of causing blood poisoning? And, could it possibly be that Azlina was bitten by some other kind of unknown insect?

So what's your own opinion guys?
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Dangerous Centipedes in the Philippines

Despite the fact that most species of centipedes does not possess a deadly threat to humans and animals, you will be surprised to know that this seems to be quite untrue. It's because there was a certain report in the Philippines claiming that a certain centipede had bitten a 7 year-old girl right on her head. As a result, she end up dead after 29 hours period.

The centipede that had bitten the poor girl was probably a rare and undiscovered kind. Some researchers actually claims that it is probably a newly evolved type of centipede. You have to know that these creatures are continuously evolving at a fast-rate that scientists are being able to record new species every year.

According to the clinical doctors, a centipede bite will only cause some serious pain to the victim which is an effect of the creature's venom. Once the pain goes away, the victim will recover from the shock so as the swelling wound which may take several days. Although, the centipede's bite can be lethal to those who are allergic to the bite.

Going back into the case of the young girl, the doctors claimed that she doesn't had any allergies to insect bites. Based on their medical findings, the centipede had injected a large amount of venom into the child's bloodstream which was sufficient enough that got her killed.

Centipede Species in the Philippines

Philippines have a lot of naturally preserved regions that are covered with thick forest. It is also a tropical country that often experiences heavy rainfall. Due to these type of environment, it is a perfect habitat for any kinds of insects to thrive such as the centipedes.

Philippine Forest
The Philippine Forest
According to the some researchers, most species of centipedes that are found in the Philippines are the "Scolopendra Subspinipes". They are the same type of species that are found in South and Central America.

Other more common names of centipedes found in the Philippines are the following:

1. Chinese Red Head
2. Giant Centipede
3. Jungle Centipede
4. Orange Legged-Centipede
5. Red-Headed Centipede
6. Vietnamese Centipede

Latest reports claimed that there are 54 species of millipedes and 44 species of centipedes that has been discovered in the Philippines. These 44 species of centipedes varies in several different aspects such as colors, sizes and appearances. But, the most common and famous among them all is the Scolopendra Subspinipes where they have been recognized by many people due to their terrifying looks and aggressive behavior.

The Scolopendra Subspinipes specie of centipedes that inhabits the forest regions of the Philippines can grow at an average length of up to 30 centimeters long and 1 centimeters thick. And, finding one of them is actually an easy task. All you have to do is to search dump areas with rotten woods or leaves. Although, you really have to be careful because they can aggressively attack and bite your hands. Thus, you should always wear protective gloves when attempting to catch these kinds of creatures.

Colors of Scolopendra Centipedes

Philippine's own version of Scolopendra Subspinipes centipedes comes in several different colors. But, the most common color that can be easily spotted around are those with brown colors. Some interesting colors are yellow, green, red and bright orange. These are the type of colors that most centipede pet-owners would like to own.

According to some researchers, centipedes with bright colors possess more potent venom as compared to those with brown color. Despite the danger involve, bright colored centipedes are considered by most exotic pet-owners as a beautiful pet. Due to this reason, some people purposely collect and sell them for their profitable gain.

How Painful is Philippine's Scolopendra Subspinipes Bite?

The bigger the size of the Scolopendra centipede, the larger amount of venom that it can inject into its victim. Assuming that you got bitten by a large and fully matured centipede, there is no doubt that you will suffer an agonizing pain more than enough to make you cry no matter how tough you claim you are.

Along with the pain, the following symptoms may also be observed:

1. Swelling and redness of the wound
2. Deafness
3. Headaches
4. Nausea

Being bitten by Scolopendra centipedes can be really very uncomfortable that some people think that they are about to die. But the real fact is that, the pain will go away after a few hours of rest but the swelling and redness may take more time to heal. So whenever you encounter one of these kinds of giant centipedes, it is highly advised not to touch it or you will suffer a painful consequence.
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How to Get Rid of House Centipedes @2015-2016