PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vietnamese centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) lies on its side, partially coiled around an insect it is eating. This species is among the largest centipedes reaching a length of 20 cm. They are common to Southeast Asia but can also be found in most tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, including Hawaii. These centipedes are fast and quick to attack, preying mostly on insects and other arthropods, and occasionally mice and small reptiles -- in short, just about anything no larger than themselves. They have powerful jaws and are equipped with poison claws which are used to subdue prey. Their robust antennae are used to sense the world around them and to seek out prey. Their multifaceted eyes have few facets and their vision is considered poor.
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