Beginner Centipedes

OK folks! I’m seriously considering getting a centipede. And there isn’t really a huge amount of information on them online that I’ve been able to find. So I came here to ask, what would be your top 5 beginner centipedes? And a little husbandry info on the #1 please if you could. I appreciate any help!


Not any Asian-native species like S. dehaani even if they’re the cheapest they are terrible beginner centipedes. For information look at arachnoboards, using the search function there is a ton of information on all kinds of inverts. The ones I recommend are, in no specific order (I gave you all the good ones I could find):

  • Scolopendra heros (one of the more venomous on this list)
  • Scolopendra polymorpha (can come in different colors, ideal first centipede)
  • Scolopendra longipes
  • Scolopendra viridis (short lifespan of only 1.5-3 years, typically 2)
  • Ethmostigmus trigonopodus (a larger growing species)
  • Scolopendra gigantea

For specific information on a centipede check on arachnoboards (using scientific names, that’s what’s typically used in the invert hobby). The general care for centipedes is an enclosure size based on the length of the centipede of 2x length 1x width 1x height + 3-5" (used for substrate, the larger size the better). Centipedes are escape artists, if you leave the lid open for a few seconds while you look away it could be enough for them to escape. Try to use an acrylic container or storage tub because they can climb the silicone on the sides of an aquarium. It’s rumored they can chew through screen or flimsy plastic but I haven’t seen proof of this. Make sure the lid closes tightly and there is a lock for it. Any space of 1/4" is enough for a centipede to escape. Centipedes are way stronger than you would think so make sure the lid closes very tight and make a locking mechanism for it (I used bungee cords, a common lock is books). Keep substrate of coconut fiber, sand, moss, and some leaf litter mixed together and have different percentages and mixes in different areas of the tank to provide variety. Most can be kept at room temperature and keep the substrate damp, whenever it dries out add water to the substrate. Don’t mist on mist setting (stream is okay) since it can bother the centipede and it’s not effective because it evaporates quickly. Keep a hide on each side and give them a water dish. Keep one side damper than the other and if the centipede spends more time on one side you can slightly change the conditions towards that side while still providing a humidity gradient (if the centipede spends the most time on the damp side make the dry side a little damper while still keeping it drier than the damp side). Feed them insects like crickets, dubias, mealworms, waxworms, silkworms, and hornworms. Some owners give them a pinky mice every once in a while for variety, as long as you remove any uneaten part once it’s done eating that’s fine. Feed them about once a week and figure out if you need to feed them more or less based on their segments. If they overlap feed them more, if there’s a space between them feed them less. They should be barely overlapping. If you can buy a CB one because WC ones sometimes don’t adjust to captivity well and have parasites or infections that can cause them to die (I had a WC scorpion die a few days after I got it due to a parasitic infection). You might see ways to sex it online but unless you plan to breed it sexing does more harm than good, I would avoid buying it sexed and I’ve seen many reports of people killing their centipedes because they sexed it improperly. I didn’t mean to write a book but if you have any more questions just ask.


That’s awesome! I really appreciate books!! The more info the better.

Just need to convince the spousal unit that I need some.

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I had my fair share experience with the Vietnamese centipedes and they are truly are fascinating but or try to stick to more desert species of centipedes if possible to start off with.