Giant Centipede

Giant centipedeScientific name: Ethmostigmus rubripes
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
Body length: up to 14cm
Number of eggs: 3-90

Distribution: Australia
Habitat: Forests and woodlands under bark, leaf litter and logs, as well as urban areas

Description: Centipedes have long segmented bodies which are usually dark brown to black on top and lighter underneath. They have one pair of legs per body segment. The first pair behind the head is modified into fangs which contain a poison gland. Centipedes have a pair of antennae on their head.

Diet: Centipedes are carnivores. They feed on insects and other invertebrates.

In the wild: Centipedes sometimes protect their eggs and their young by curling their long bodies around them. Centipedes also have a cuticle, similar to the hard exoskeleton of insects, which they shed regularly as they grow.

Threats: Centipedes’ natural predators include reptiles, birds and small mammals.

At Perth Zoo: You can find the Giant Centipede in the Nocturnal House.

Join the Perth Zoo-coordinated Night Stalk from 1 September to 16 October and spotlight for native animals in your local bushland. Night Stalk is a great way to become involved in community conservation action and to learn about our native animals, their habitat and their threats. Night Stalk is sponsored by Tronox.

Did you know? Centipedes always have an uneven number of pairs of legs. The number of pairs can range from 15 to 191. At about 14 cm, the Giant Centipede is the largest in Australia, however, the largest centipede in the world is found in Peru and can grow more than 30 cm long.

Download the Giant Centipede Fact Sheet (pdf).

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