Photo by Cami Schlappy

Desert centipedes (Scholopendra polymorpha) spend the daytime under cover and come out at night to hunt things like insects, lizards, mice and frogs.

Centipedes swing their body around when envenomating prey. This has led to the misconception that centipedes “pinch” with their tail while, in fact, they use the first pair of modified legs to inject their venom.

Badgers, ringtails, coyotes, owls and bobcats prey on centipedes.

Interestingly, female centipedes coil around their eggs and groom them. They also care for hatchlings for a few days until they disperse. It is thought that wild centipedes live for about five years.