Some of you might see the majestic Scolopendra gigantea and think: "Gross! A huge insect". This is probably the biggest misconceptions about centipedes and millipedes: they are not insects! In this section we will classify this humongous myriapod at each level of taxonomy.

Domain: Eukarya.

                 S.gigantea contains eukaryotic cells, meaning all contain a nucleus  and membrane-bound organelles.  Other organisms in this diverse domain include: Pineapple, Macadamia nuts, Passion fruit, and Yaks.

Kingdom: Animalia.

                Characteristics of this kingdom include: multicellar, heterotrophic, does not have cell walls, sexual reproduction, and is motile in at least one stage of development. Our giant centipede has all of these characteristics. Other members of this kingdom include: The harp seal, the blue whale, the American crocodile, and the humbolt squid.

Phylum: Arthopoda.

                This phylum's features (and Scolopendra gigantea's as well) include: Segmented bodies, distinct body regions, three tissue layers (triploblastic), a true digestion system, exoskeleton, growth via molting, jointed appendences and antennae. Further members of this phylum include: The red rock crab, flathead lobster, horsefly, and the baldfaced hornet.

Subphylum: Myriapoda

                This is where the millipedes and centipedes split from their 6-legged insect friends. This subphylum means literally: "Many feet" or "Many footed".  Logically enough, this is one of the characteristics of the subphylum. Other features of this subphylum include a head and long "trunk" region, segmented with  each segment having a pair of walking legs; a single pair of antennae and simple eyes, and mandibles inside of the mouth.

Class: Chilopoda.

                This class separates the millipedes from the centipedes, with the main feature being forcipules  a feature unique to centipedes. For more on forcipules check the morphology section. Furthermore members of the class chilopoda are carnivores, where as the other members of subphylum myriapoda (the millipedes) are detritivores, or  scavengers.

Order: Scolopendromorpha.

                In the Orders the centipedes are split further, with Scolopendromorpha's characteristics including: antennae split into 17 or more segments. Eyes have at least 4 facets on each side, and their bodies have 21 or more segments following the head region.

Family: Scolopendridae

                This family simply contains large centipedes of the order Scolopendromorpha.

Genus: Scolopendra

                These larger-sized centipedes are grouped based on the chemical composition of their venom.

Species: Scolopendra gigantea.

                Commonly referred to as the Giant Peruvian Centipede, named for their huge size, these are the largest known centipedes to have been discovered to date!

On to Habitat!