When the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine’s Facebook page shared a photo of a Texas redhead centipede, the Internet appropriately freaked out.
The centipede, normally referred to as a Texas, or giant, redhead, is a super-sized version of the species and a threatening sight to behold. Although commonly spotted in the southwest U.S. and Mexico, these centipedes can be found in many states across the country.
Texas redheads prey upon lizards and toads, but sometimes can even hunt down rodents and snakes. The invertebrates can stretch up to 8 inches and have 23 pairs of legs. They also sport a pair of fangs that can transfer a painful toxin to both animals and humans. However, the bite usually only causes a bit of momentary pain and swelling. In some cases, the centipede’s bite can cause nausea, headaches, necrosis or cardiac arrest.
Still, most people who encounter these frighteningly large bugs walk away with only a case of the heebie-jeebies. The magazine made clear that although you should be cautious around these creatures, there’s no need to panic.
“While caution is certainly warranted when dealing with the giant redheaded centipede,” the magazine explained, “downright terror is probably an overreaction.”