Scolopocryptops sexspinosus, the Eastern red centipede;
Volusia county, Florida (15 February 2015).
The Eastern red centipede is a fairly large Chilopodan species. They range throughout much of the eastern portion of North America and are fairly abundant in central Florida (at least in my experience). This species is what’s called a blind centipede (Family Scolopocryptopidae). They scurry about the undergrowth without the gift of vision. Still, they sense their way through life with 23 sets of legs and a healthy, robust bite. Though not considered lethal, the Eastern red centipede can deliver an uncomfortable and painful bite if/when handled. Fortunately, however, they are entirely non-aggressive towards people. They’re also quite reclusive and typically well hidden.