Types Of Centipedes In Texas

Types Of Centipedes In Texas

List of types of centipedes in Texas and what to know about.

As the previous articles in this series have shown without a doubt, the state of Texas is full of life. Myriads of life forms in the flora department and on the fauna section call Texas home, based on the unique geographical location of Texas, as well as the embracing climate of the state. In this article, we are looking at the types of centipedes found in Texas, and all the interesting facts about them that you need to know.

The centipede is a long, crawling animal. The word ‘Centipede’ actually means ‘one hundred feet,’ and formed from the two Latin words ‘centum’ and ‘ped.’ The words mean ‘hundred’  and ‘foot,’ respectively. This is an exaggeration, however, because centipedes do not actually have a hundred legs- most of them, anyway. Texas is home to several different types of centipede, including some that have become famous (or infamous) for their stings, as well as for the potency of their stings. We will devote the rest of this article to telling you about them, as well as a few hints about what to do if you should encounter a centipede in your home. Let us now start: Types of Centipedes in Texas.

Types Of Centipedes In Texas 

Giant Redheaded Centipede Image Source: bugguide.net
  • Giant Redheaded Centipede

One of the most fearsome-looking species of centipedes that you can find anywhere in the world is the Giant Redheaded Centipede, which is marked out first because of its size. This is truly a giant compared to most other centipedes; it can grow to eight or nine inches long, and grow to a width of half-inch, discounting the leg spans. This species is even scarier considering the redhead it carries about. On its bright redheads, you will find long, spiky antennae that are colored reddish-yellow so as to contrast and highlight the redhead of the animal, again adding to that fearsome look that many have come to dread. The legs (all 42 of them) are yellow and claw-like, and attached to the segments of their bodies which are colored black and shiny. See all these deadly colors on display will certainly frighten some people into running away, how much more frightful it must look to small crawling creatures who encounter the red-headed centipede?

Giant red-headed centipedes are known to be carnivorous and actively hunt for different types of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets and other small creatures like spiders, cockroaches, butterflies, and their larvae, as well as moths. These are the animals that make up the daily diet of the giant red-headed centipedes, but they will also occasionally eat small snakes, lizards, toads, and other animals like that. They operate by moving about, looking for prey. Once the potential meal has been spotted they pounce on it, grabbing hold with as many legs as they possibly can, and thus making it impossible for the creature to free itself. Once they have a strong grip on the animal, they use some legs that also function as fangs to inject their victim with a toxin that is painful and produces a burning sensation.

During contact with humans, Giant redheaded Centipedes generally try to flee immediately. But on occasions when they have been accidentally or even deliberately they have been known to bite. Their stings produce a painful sensation, and will also cause a swelling that will last a few hours. For most people that is the extent of damage that the bite of a Giant Redheaded centipede will cause- their poison is not strong enough to kill a human being. If a person is allergic to poison from a similar crawling insect or suffers from any chronic ailment then it may be good to contact a doctor after being bitten by a giant red-headed centipede.

House Centipede Image Source: Ukrbin.com
  • House Centipede

The House Centipede (Scutigera coleptrata linnaaeus) is a species of centipede that is marked by its long legs, and ability to run very quickly. As the name implies you can most likely find this particular species of centipedes running around indoors. You can identify this type of centipede by its overall brown color, and by its very long legs and antennae. The House Centipede too is carnivorous and hunts in exactly the same fashion as the red-headed centipede which we described above. The only difference is that it does this hunting indoors. The house centipede is nature’s gift to us, helping us get rid of the insect pest that threatens to turn our homes into living quarters and colonies. They kill cockroaches, crickets, moths, flies, and termites. They are not social creatures and so will not invade your house in invasive numbers.

When they make contact with humans, these centipedes will usually run for cover. They are not aggressive, and will not usually try to bite humans.

Bark Centipede Lithobius forficatus Image Source: Wikipedia
  • Bark Centipede

Bark centipedes are agile, fast-moving members of the centipede family. They can be identified by their reddish-brown bodies and their yellow legs. They have one pair of legs per segment in their bodies, and generally, prefer to run about in the natural environment. They usually grow to be about 2 inches in length and are mostly active at night.

As the name implies, this particular species of centipedes are most likely to be found in the barks of standing trees or tree stumps, where they pay regular visits to prey upon the small creatures that hide there. They usually eat beetle larvae, crickets, as well as termites and so on. Bark termites can also be found in leaf litter and such places in the natural environment where they are likely to find a meal. If such insects are plentiful near home then it should not be strange to find them near or in a home as well. They will generally go about there lawful business without disturbing humans but have been known to bite if injured or if disturbed or threatened. However, their bite is not fatal, and will usually only cause a brief period of pain and discomfort.

Cryptopid centipede Image Source: Wikipedia
  • Cryptopid centipede

Cryptopid Centipedes are usually reddish-brown creatures that can be found in many different places in the natural environment. They can usually be found under logs and stones where they go for safety, and for the insect delicacies that they can find there. They can be identified by their reddish color. This species of centipede is also known to run quite fast.

This species seems to prefer wet or humid areas more than other species. When they enter homes they will usually be found in basements, cellars, and other such places. They are voracious eaters and can single-handedly take care of your cockroach problem.

Conclusion On The Types Of Centipedes In Texas:

Despite the fear that we as humans have come to associate with centipedes, they are generally not likely to kill us. The most dangerous type of centipede in Texas is also the most fearsome; the Giant Redheaded Centipede. But even its bite is not fatal and will only cause swelling and some discomfort in most people. Picking up a centipede will frighten it, and force it to defend itself- causing it to bite. If you have a history of allergic reactions after a bite from a similar crawling creature then it is certainly wise to contact a doctor immediately after being bitten by a centipede. Otherwise, you should be fine.

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