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Photo#20398
Monster centipede (crawling away) - Scolopendra heros

Monster centipede (crawling away) - Scolopendra heros
Ajo Mtn Trail, Organ Pipe Natl Monument, Pima County, Arizona, USA
March 29, 2005
Size: over 6 inches
Hiking down from Ajo mountain, we saw movement in the base of a rotten Saguaro. Almost jumped out of our skins when we saw it was a huuuge centipede. Had heard of these but had never seen one. We are assuming it is Scolopendra heros, Giant Desert Centipede. Sorry for the poor quality. Can attest that the first time you see one of these, it is very scary!

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Monster centipede (crawling away) - Scolopendra heros Monster centipede (head to right) - Scolopendra heros Monster centipede - Scolopendra heros

Scolopendra heros
Another of the many color variants of Scolopendra heros Girard, 1853, the largest-bodied centipede in North America, growing up to 7 inches or so. It ranges from Kansas & southern Missouri to Louisiana, and westward through Texas & New Mexico/eastern Colorado to the Colorado River in Arizona. It ranges southward about 1/4 of the way into Mexico, and has not been authentically found west of the Colorado River in California.

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