Giant Centipede is an oversized segmented invertebrate of Missouri and Arkansas (Ozark Mountains near Gainesville, Bradleyville, Stone County, and Taney County, Missouri; Marion County, Arkansas). Length, 7–18 inches. Arthropod with multiple legs. Female wraps itself around newly hatched young.
S. C. Turnbo collected stories of large centipedes in the Ozarks in the mid-nineteenth century. An 18-inch centipede was said to have been captured alive by Bent Music on Jimmie’s Creek in Marion County, Arkansas, in 1860. It was placed in a jar of alcohol in a drugstore in Yellville, but people lost track of it during the Civil War.
The largest known species of centipede in North America is the Giant desert centipede (Scolopendra heros), a black-and-orange banded animal with yellow legs that grows to more than 8 inches. It is found in Mexico and the southern United States. Females guard their hatchlings closely for a few days after birth. A related species, the Galapagos centipede (S. galapagensis), is the largest in the world, growing to 17 inches.