3 Centipedes in Hawaii – Wildlife Informer

Hawaii is known for its breathtaking beaches and lush rainforests, but it’s also home to some fascinating wildlife, particularly centipedes. Although these many-legged creatures may seem harmless, some of them can deliver painful and even dangerous bites. In this article, Wildlife Informer explores three species of centipedes that inhabit the Hawaiian islands. First is the venomous Chinese red-headed centipede, which is the largest and most common centipede in Hawaii. Next is the stone centipede, a smaller species whose venom poses no threat to humans. Finally, there is Mecistocephalus maxillaris, a centipede native to Asia that has made its way to Hawaii. Join us as we delve into the world of Hawaiian centipedes and learn some interesting facts about these unique creatures.

3 Centipedes in Hawaii

Hawaii is well-known for many things, including its stunning beaches, rainforests, and unique wildlife, including some very cool centipedes. These creatures with many legs are common in homes, gardens, forests, and parks, as well as in the islands’ cities and towns. Even though centipedes in Hawaii may look like harmless animals, some of them can give painful and even dangerous bites.

In this article, we’ll look at the different kinds of centipedes that live on the Hawaiian islands and learn some facts about them.

Chinese red-headed centipede

Scientific name: Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans

The Chinese red-headed centipede, which is also called the Vietnamese centipede, is the most common and largest centipede in Hawaii. It’s also the only species on the islands that’s venomous. They usually live in damp places, like under rocks, in leaf litter, or in soil, and they can be found in both cities and rural areas. It can grow up to 20 cm long and has a brown or reddish head, yellow legs, and a dark green body.

These animals are known to be active hunters who eat a wide range of animals, such as insects, spiders, and even other centipedes. This centipede isn’t native to Hawaii. It was brought there by humans and is considered an invasive species. They have been found on all of the Hawaiian Islands and are common in homes and gardens, both in cities and in the countryside.

Stone Centipede

Scientific name: Lithobius sp.

Stone centipedes, which are also referred to as Lithobius, are a species of centipede that can be discovered in many different locations across the globe, including Hawaii. These centipedes are considerably shorter than Chinese red heads and only measure approximately 2 inches in length. Their bodies usually have a shade of brown or reddish brown, and they have 15 pairs of legs.

Like other types of centipedes, stone centipedes hunt their prey and then use their venom to immobilize or kill it. However, the venom of stone centipedes is harmless to humans. It’s possible to find them living in wooded areas and forests, hiding out in moist environments beneath rocks, logs, leaf piles, and other debris piles.


Scientific name: Mecistocephalus maxillaris

Mecistocephalus maxillaris, a species of centipede that’s native to the tropical and subtropical regions of south and east Asia, has also been found in Hawaii. This particular species of centipede was brought there by humans. Their bright yellow bodies and distinctive dark red heads make these creatures easily recognizable.

This centipede doesn’t pose any threat to humans and can typically be found in tropical forests. Mecistocephalus maxillaris make their homes in leaf litter, soil, and other moist environments. They’re also carnivorous and eat other small invertebrates, like insects and spiders.

Are centipedes a problem in Hawaii?

Even though centipedes are an important part of the ecosystem in Hawaii, residents may find them to be a nuisance, particularly if they’re the venomous Chinese red-headed centipede. It’s essential to take preventive measures to lessen the likelihood of being bitten by a centipede and to make the living environment as risk-free as possible. Although these creatures are known to bite humans, their bites are rarely fatal.

How to prevent centipedes from entering your home?

Centipedes are a common sight in Hawaii, and despite the fact that they’re an important part of the local ecosystem, they can be a nuisance for local residents. The following is a list of some of the things you can do to protect yourself from being bitten by these creatures:

  1. Sealing off cracks and crevices: Centipedes are able to get into your home through the small cracks and crevices that are around the doors, windows, and other entry points. As a result, it’s essential to seal these openings using the appropriate materials in order to stop centipedes from getting into the house.

  2. Removing excess moisture: These creatures thrive in humid environments, and you can find them in gardens, basements, and other poorly lit and damp areas of homes. They’re drawn to damp areas, so it’s essential to maintain a dry environment inside the house and ensure that there is enough airflow. You can do this by using dehumidifiers, fixing water leaks, and making sure there is good drainage around the home.

  3. Keeping your home clean and free of pests: Getting rid of pests in your home can make it much less likely that centipedes will come inside. This is because centipedes usually eat other insects and small animals. If there are a lot of these pests in your home, it can bring centipedes there.

Wildlife Informer


Wildlife Informer is a website that provides free information and pictures of wildlife, including centipedes and other exotic pets. They also share helpful tips, guides, and interesting facts about a variety of topics related to animals and nature.


The mission of Wildlife Informer is to educate and inform readers about the importance of wildlife and the need for their conservation. They aim to promote awareness and appreciation for the natural world and to inspire people to protect and preserve the animals and their habitats. By providing accurate and comprehensive information, they hope to encourage responsible behavior and sustainable practices that benefit both wildlife and humans.

In conclusion, Hawaii is home to three interesting species of centipedes: the Chinese red-headed centipede, the stone centipede, and the Mecistocephalus. While some centipedes may be a nuisance or even venomous, preventive measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of encountering them. By sealing off cracks, removing excess moisture, and keeping the home clean and free of pests, residents can create a safer and more comfortable living environment. With the help of informative resources like Wildlife Informer, people can learn more about these fascinating creatures and contribute to their conservation.

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