Giant Redheaded Centipede

This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws.
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Stout fangs on a centipede (Geophilus easoni)
Courtesy of Malcolm Storey, via BioImages - the Virtual Fieldguide (UK), CC-BY-NC-SA

About Centipedes (Class Chilopoda): Feeding

Centipedes are hunters. They wander around looking for prey in the leaves and other debris of forest floors. In some ecosystems, they are the largest invertebrate (with no backbone) predators. Centipedes can have both simple and compound eyes, or no eyes at all, but can find prey by touch and vibration. Most centipedes are able to move quickly after prey, but slower centipedes wait to ambush prey that pass nearby. Centipedes strike at their prey with claws that are fang-like, delivering venom from a gland. Not much is known about centipede venom and its effects on prey, but studies have found that that venom may affect muscles (myotoxins), nervous systems (neurotoxic), or circulatory systems (cardiotoxic). Using venom allows centipedes to attack prey that are larger than themselves, such as earthworms and beetles. Large centipedes in the tropics occasionally eat bats, birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, and small mammals.