Deep in the heart of Texas, a world of creepy crawlies awaits. Many people know about the rattlesnakes and scorpions that live in the Lone Star State, but centipedes are just as interesting and a little bit more mysterious. Centipedes in Texas are some of the more impressive and interesting invertebrates due to their features like long, segmented bodies and a lot of legs.
Join us as we delve into the world of centipedes in the state, whether you are a fan of centipedes or simply interested in learning more about the wildlife around you.
7 Types of Centipedes in Texas
1. Texas redhead
Scientific name: Scolopendra heros
The Texas redhead is a type of centipede living in the southwestern United States, especially in Texas and northern Mexico. These centipedes are the largest in North America, reaching lengths of up to 6.5 inches but also reaching lengths of up to 8 inches in some cases. The typical habitats for this species are rocky woodlands and desert environments.
Texas redhead centipedes mostly eat small invertebrates and small vertebrates, which they kill with their venom. They inject their venom into their prey to immobilize and prevent them from escaping. Texas redheads can also capture and consume small flying insects.
2. Common desert centipede
Scientific name: Scolopendra polymorpha
The Common desert centipede, also called the tiger centipede, is a venomous species that lives in the deserts of western North America, including Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. They can grow up to 7 inches long and live mostly in dry grasslands, forests, and deserts. Most of the time, you can find them under rocks in the desert.
These animals can be recognized by their multicolored bodies, which are either light brown or orange and have lateral stripes, while their heads are darker brown or orange, and their legs are yellow.
3. Eastern bark centipede
Scientific name: Hemiscolopendra marginata
The Eastern bark centipede is a species of centipede that’s native to the eastern region of the United States and can grow to be up to 4 centimeters in length. The body is typically a shade of reddish brown, and the legs are yellow.
However, there are some species that have a bluish-gray or even greenish coloration. These creatures can be discovered in forests and other wooded areas, specifically in the crevices of logs and loose bark.
They eat mostly insects and other small arthropods, and these critters are usually active at night. Unlike most centipedes, the venom of Eastern barks is sexually dimorphic, which means that males and females have different kinds of venom composition.
4. House centipede
Scientific name: Scutigera coleoptrata
The house centipede is a species of centipede that can be found all over Texas, both indoors and outdoors. However, they have a strong preference for environments that are very humid.
Since these little creatures feed on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, and ants that typically live inside houses, house centipedes are typically found inside residential properties. People often find them in basements and restrooms, but most of them live outside.
Although their eyes are more developed than those of other centipedes, they still rely on their antennae when it comes to the hunt for food.
5. Soil centipede
Scientific name: Strigamia bidens
Soil centipedes are in the order Geophilomorpha, and they’re burrowers that live in the soil like earthworms. These particular centipedes can be found in a wide variety of environments, such as gardens, yards, woodlands, and agricultural grounds.
Soil centipedes are blind and don’t have eyes, and their leg pairs range from 29 to 191 and are always an odd number. They’re significantly smaller than house centipedes and have legs that are finer, similar to those of Scolopendrid centipedes.
6. Brown centipedes
Scientific name: Lithobius forficatus
Brown centipedes, which are also called stone centipedes, have a body that’s reddish-brown in color, long antennae, and long back legs. Their bodies can be as broad as 4 millimeters and as long as 30 millimeters on average. Brown centipedes resemble the striped centipedes in appearance, but brown centipedes don’t have the stripes that they do.
The fact that these centipedes are so frequently found in the uppermost layer of soil, particularly under decaying logs and rocks, is what led to their being given the name stone centipedes.
7. Arizona house centipede
Scientific name: Scutigera linceci
The Arizona house centipede is a close relative of the common house centipede and can frequently be found in locations throughout Southern and Central America. It’s a species of centipede with a yellowish coloration that can grow to a length of up to 3.8 centimeters or 1.5 inches.
This type of centipede is one of those that can be found indoors, particularly in damp areas. However, their natural habitat is outside, where they typically reside under stones or in hollow logs.