Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)

Pricing: No Specimens Available For Sale
Geographic Range: Southwestern U.S.A. to Northern Mexico
View: Top View
Size: Length (excluding antennae and legs): 15cm+

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Scolopendra polymorpha is a centipede found throughout much of the southwestern region of the U.S.A. It ranges from Louisiana west to California and Oregon, and south into northern Mexico. It is commonly known as the Tiger Centipede because of the dark bands on its tergites. The species name polymorpha is Latin for "many form" and it aptly lives up to this name by ranging in color from blue to green to yellow to orange. This centipede is easy to keep, requiring a cage with a soil/sand mixture for substrate, which should be kept a little moist (this can be done with occasional misting). As a species usually associated with arid lands, it can handle a wide range of temperatures. Although it will be comfortable within a temperature range of anywhere between 65-90 degrees Fahrenheit, it is best kept at a temperature somewhere in the middle of that range. It feeds mainly on insects and is not particularly aggressive. Because it is not easily provoked, some centipede enthusiasts like to handle them. While this doesn't often result in a bite, getting bitten is most certainly a risk so don’t handle one unless you accept that risk. A bite from a Tiger Centipede is not dangerous but the amount of pain associated with a bite increases exponentially along with the size of the centipede. Scolopendra polymorpha is very similar to Scolopendra viridis. The two species can be told apart by the antennae segments: S. viridis has 6 or less smooth segments while S. polymorpha has 7 or more smooth segments. Also, S. viridis does not grow larger than 8cm.