Scolopendra subspinipes


Dec 27, 2002
I just picked up 2 Vietnamese Centipedes

Is there any advice or words of caution I should take. I have never owned centipedes before, Nippy snakes will be the closest.

All comments are welcome

Thanks in advance:?


Old Timer
Aug 16, 2002
S. subspinipes is the only centipede ever verified to have caused a human death, a young girl who was bitten on the head. Considering the apparently huge range this pede has, one death out of likley millions of bites is probably not enough to decree this animal "deadly", but I'd say it warrants a high degree of caution. All accounts of bites I've heard from this species and other big scolopendra is that the pain is absolutely excrutiating. In short, don't get bit!

A good rule of thumb for keeping big pedes is to make sure that the distance from the surface of the substrate to the top of the cage/tank is longer than the length of the pede. This will help prevent the pede from scrambling out of the cage when you open it. They can sometimes get a foothold on the sillicone at the corners of an aquarium, so this is no substitute for a tight-fitting lid.

Having snakes is good experience, as pedes are escape artists on par with small snakes. They are able to use their elongated bodies as leverage to open cages that would easily contain tarantulas or scorpions. They can also squeeze through surprisingly tight openings. They can also tear through softer screening materials, I would't trust anything that's not metal in that regard.

Husbandry-wise, S. subspinipes are fairly moisture sensitve (they like it humid), but beyond that they are quite hardy. I keep mine on a mix of coconut coir (bed a beast, etc.), vermiculite and peat moss. I feed them mostly crickets, but with the occasional cockroach and pinky mouse as well.

Also I'm assuming you're keeping them in seperate containers. Cannibalism is quite likley if they're kept together for extended periods.

Good luck!

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