Vietnamese Centipede

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Other common names: Vietnamese Orange Leg Centipede; Vietnamese Giant Centipede; Vietnam Centipede

Scientific name: Scolopendra subspinipes

The basics:
This centipede is commonly found throughout the tropical regions of the world especially southeast Asia, not just Vietnam as it‘s common name may suggest. They usually use leaf litter, logs, rocks, and other natural items as hiding areas.

Appearance / health:
This is a very long slender centipede reaching up to 8 inches in length. They have 21 body segments, with each segment having a pair of legs. It’s usually dark red or brown in color with an orange head and legs, but depending on where it’s found, color will have variations. There are also 4 other subspecies of S. subspinipes that all have their own color variations.

Behavior / temperament:
The Vietnamese Centipede is a very aggressive and very fast centipede. They have a very nasty bite known to be very painful. In some people it may even be medically significant. There has been a case where a child was bitten and died hours later. This is the only centipede with a fatal incident related to it. Because of their skittish, fast, and aggressive nature, they are not recommended for beginners.

Adults should be housed separately in a 5-10 gallon tank. Height is not important, just make sure the centipede can not crawl up and out of the enclosure. Babies can live in Tupperware containers or other plastic enclosures until ready for the adult enclosure.

Temperature should be kept between 75-85F with humidity levels between 75-80%. Substrate should be deep enough to allow burrowing; around 3-5 inches deep and a mixture of sand and peat, vermiculite, or potting soil. It should be kept damp to help keep humidity up. Tank décor is not necessary, but can be added if desired. Cork bark, branches, wood, logs, and other items may be used.

Adult centipedes will readily consume anything they can over-power. Offer crickets, cockroaches, and other large insects. Adults may also have a very occasional pinkie mouse. Babies will take pin head crickets, mini meal worms, baby cockroaches, and other small insects.


educational thing, beautiful appearance, amazing display bug, large size


stung, handling, centipede venom, pain, escape artists, nasty temper


substrate, soil mix, crickets, hiding place, molt

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