Hawaii Biological Survey's


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37. Giant Centipede / kanapi

Scientific name: Scolopendra subspinipes

Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Arachnida. Order: Chelipoda.

Origin: Introduced

Status: Common

Distribution:Midway Atoll, O`ahu, Lana`i, Maui, Kaho`olawe, Big Island,

Sound file: --

Map: --

This painful pest was introduced to Hawai`i before 1847, possibly even by Polynesian voyagers since it occurs commonly throughout the Pacific and tropics. Despite fantaastic tales of its huge size from those who have killed them in their homes, these creatures rarely get over 6 inches in length. Their bite is extremely painful and some people and pets require hospitalization if getting a severe reaction to it.

It is a generalist predator, often active at night, when it forages for small prey such as insects, worms, slugs, and even geckos.

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   Photo by Gordon Nishida