Scolopendra morsitans (brightly colored and being all maternal) and Scolopendra gigantea (darker colored, looks like the fucking devil) are the only two centipedes left in this genus, after it was discovered that all the other centipedes assigned to it secretly belonged to other, different genuses.
This actually happens a lot, thanks to the invention of things like “microscopes” and “cheap genetic testing” and “people giving a damn.”
Scolopendra giganteae, or the Amazonian giant centipede, doesn’t just look like the devil, though. It pretty much is the devil. These guys get up to a foot long, and they’re the ones you’ve probably seen on those terrifying nature documentaries about centipedes hanging from the ceiling and snatching bats out of the air. I mean, good news: it’s not “centipedes” doing this, it’s just one species. Bad news: The species exists and it’s fucking horrible.
Above: The doom of mankind.
Centipedes in general are arthropods with clearly distinguishable segments, one pair of legs per section, and a penchant for flesh. They’ve also got a pair of modified legs up front called forcipules (think “forceps”) that they use to fuck shit up and inject venom.
Above: For once, the horrible-looking things on that bug’s face are exactly as horrible as they look.
S. gigantea is a particularly dickish specimen, given that it will legit try to eat anything it’s got a shot at taking down, and it’s got an outsized idea of what it has a shot of taking down. I mean, it takes some series invertebrate gonads to climb a fucking cave wall, hang on by four or five pairs of legs, and then wave yourself around head-down trying to grab something bigger than you out of the goddamned air. I mean, this is like if you climbed a tree, dangled from your knees, and started a three-way fight with a sloth and a harpy eagle.
Only the centipede gets away with it, while you would probably die.
Centipedes are generally just sort of weird, even when they’re not being horrifically, death-defyingly weird. Even in species with compound eyes, their vision usually sucks balls. Some of them have evolved so that they can use that last terminal pair of legs (yes, those are legs, they’re not like pincers or a stinger or anything) like another set of antennae. A fair number of them also have glands along or near that last pair of legs that can secrete chemical defenses, which is less weird than turning them into butt-antennae but still pretty weird. Most of them don’t mate. The dudes just sort of jizz on the substrate, and females find their jizz-packs and use them to fertilize their eggs, which they then take weirdly good care of for invertebrates. Even the ones that don’t care for their eggs directly tend to lay them one at a time in egg cells in the substrate. I mean, seriously. Weird fucking order of arthropods.