Giant bat-eating centipedes

The Venezuelan giant centipede, Scolopendra gigantea (Myriapoda), is a true terror. Like all centipedes, they are voracious venomous predators. Unlike all centipedes, they are enormous, reaching 300 mm (1 foot) in length. The giant centipede’s powerful neurotoxin and great size allows them to predate animals larger than themselves, including mice and bats…

Video and a description of their predation behavior below the fold.

Check out this video of a giant centipede capturing and eating a bat. It is narrated by the always awesome David Attenborough, from his Life In The Undergrowth series.

The centipedes climb to the ceiling of caves and snatch roosting or flying bats with their powerful frontal appendages. Then they…

“…inflict an initial puncture with their forcipules on the neck of vertebrate prey. This should quickly immobilize the prey because the neurotoxic venom is injected near the brain. The consumption of the [bat] began behind the bat’s head… [The centipedes then] started eating around the bat’s neck, continued into the chest, and then into the abdominal region” (1)

This occurs while the bat is paralyzed yet still alive; initially, at least.

Sweet dreams.

(1) Molinari et al., Predation by Giant Centipedes, Scolopendra gigantea, on Three Species of Bats in a Venezuelan Cave. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 41, No. 2, 340-346.

About these ads

8 Responses to “Giant bat-eating centipedes”


  1. 2 Roxanne September 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    How do these centipedes get into/ inhabit the caves, when one of the reason the bats (ghost-faced bat of Venezuela) maintain high temperatures is to avoid predators

  2. 3 Eliécer May 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    You can read the facts in the original paper we published years ago (including credits to the author of the photo): http://www.eliecer-e-gutierrez.com/Eliecer_E_Gutierrez,_Ph.D./Publications.html

  3. 4 http://forextradingsystemcourse.Info June 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I just would like to express I must say I value
    a person’s writing ability. It’s essential to study a particular person whom incorporates a understanding
    of grammar plus spelling on-line. I will tell some others about Giant bat-eating centipedes | Arthropoda.
    Thanks again!

  4. 5 Path of Exile Power Farming August 4, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

  5. 6 adobe photoshop cs5 crack June 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Hi there colleagues, how is everything, and what you would like to say concerning this
    article, in my view its genuinely amazing in support
    of me.

  6. 7 webpage July 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Can I simply say what a comfort too uncover skmebody that really knows what they arre discussing on the net.
    You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and
    mzke it important. More people reaoly need to
    check this out and understand this side of your story.

    It’s surprising you’re not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  7. 8 buy trees online uk October 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Howdy very nice website!! Mann .. Beautiful ..
    Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the
    feeds also? I’m satisfied to searech out numerous helpful information right here within the put up, we’d like develop
    extra techniques onn this regard, thsnks for sharing.
    . . . . .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

Flickr Photos

Fire in the Eye

View from atop South Island

Turtle and remora

Lizard Island lagoon panorama

Coral

Wind surfer over the reef, taken from atop South Island

Another Lizard Island Sunset

Odontodactylus latirostris

Mandarin

Lowest tide I have seen at Lizard Island  (-0.11 m)

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: