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What is this?  Do I need to be alarmed? - Hemiscolopendra marginata

What is this? Do I need to be alarmed? - Hemiscolopendra marginata
Kingston Springs, Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA
October 10, 2005
Size: Approx: 2"
I was bitten on my face by this insect last night and my face is swollen. Do I need to be alarmed?

Moved from Scolopendra.

In Tennessee, this centipede
In Tennessee, this centipede can only be Hemiscolopendra marginata (Say, 1821).

Hemiscolopendra, not Scolopendra
Different genus, same order

Swelling- Cause for alarm?
I would say that swelling away from the area bitten might be sign of a more general allergic reaction to the bite, and would be reason to seek medical attention. Of course, I'm not a doctor or an expert on centipede bites.

It's a centipede
- usually their bite is described as no worse than a bee sting.
See fact sheet from OSU. Swelling would be a normal reaction, I should think, but if you're particularly sensitive you might need something to help it subside.
Centipedes are predators and are thus generally considered beneficial but, like spiders, you don't want to be messing with them. See also this article by one of our editors.

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