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    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Beautiful Anthropod

    Keebler found something out of a horror movie in our bathtub this morning. I identified it in less than a minute with assistance from WhatsThatBug.com.

    As Chris says on his page devoted to the creature "15 pair of long skinny legs, two long antennae, and an inch and a half-long body" *shudder*

    It is striped, spotted, and has huge (for it's size) fangs and mandibles. The fangs (all four of them, with venom) are about 3cm long, and the mandibles are about 6cm. HUGE I tell ya! Especially when being viewed from about 1 inch away through a flimsy plastic container.

    Keebler says it reminds him of the "bug" that the agents of the matrix put into Neo's tummy. He's right, not that that particular visualization gives me less of the heebies by any means. *twitch*

    It is sitting here watching me type. If it weren't so danged creepy looking, if I liked bugs, if he didn't bite, I would let him stay here in the house. See, Scutigera Cleoptrata eats spiders, roaches, mites, bedbugs, and other such nasties around the home. They even eat bugs you can't see and don't know you have.

    But that life span of up to 5 years (average of 3), the ability to lay over 100 eggs each spring during laying season, and the fact that they can deliver a stinging bite kicks him out of my choices of co-residents.

    He is rather beautiful for a creature with an exoskeleton, I would associate it's appearance on the aesthetic scale with a dragonfly, honestly. The entomology department of University of Arkansas has some great pictures of him, and of course Wikipedia has some good information as well.

    We will be releasing him in a heavenly environment for a creature of his proclivities, a warehouse, where he will likely have as many spiders and innocent young bugs to eat for the rest of his natural life and the lives of his children. I can't stand to kill something so beneficial, even if I refuse to share living space with him.

    Common names range from the official "House Centipede" to the endearing terms "Feather Duster Bug" and "Fringe Bug".


    lovelife said...

    you still need to come dig up that plant in the front yard b4 storm takes it up and puts it in the trash.
    O and do not bring that bug with you lol you can keep it.

    Andrea said...

    Holy excrement!

    I would have to move out if I found that in the bathtub. I may have to move to another state just knowing it's in the area.

    Whimspiration said...

    Lovelife, the bug has been released in a nice new home, not to worry. :D Tell storm if he wants to dig that thing up with the backhoe when he gets it there, I'd be happy to take it then as much as I am happy to take it now. *grin* Less work is good, right?

    Andrea, you may have to move quite a ways to escape it. It is all over the US now, and due to global warming, is likely on it's merry way into Canada by now. (It was found in Washington state about 1980).

    Anonymous said...

    Actually, those are some of the single coolest bugs you can have in your house. Keep them. When I lived in the basement, we had a ton of them. They really do eat anything buggy that they find, and they can MOVE... like, from one end of a wall to the other in under a minute. They're fast enough to catch flies and moths, and other such critters that destroy foodstuffs and other goods.

    We've had 'em in Mom's house for two decades and none of us have ever been bitten. I'd love to see them down here, but they're rare at best here. Probably less to eat than in a somewhat leaky basement. They're more than fast enough to get the hell out of your way, and they don't like movement (for example, if you shift position enough in bed to so much as twitch the covers), so they stay away from high-traffic areas. The only reason you saw it in the tub is because it fell in and couldn't get back out again.

    If you're lucky enough, you might see one on the hunt, and I've watched one grab a moth. It's really spiffy, and very educational for the little bits... as well as being much cheaper than a safari.

    I say keep 'em. They're one of the coolest bugs around.

    -Irish Mike.

    Mama Chaos said...

    That was the creepiest looking bug ever! Ewww! Though E was looking over my shoulder and thought it was awesome. I've just spent the last few minutes finding more pictures online for him to shriek over. Oi! LOL

    Whimspiration said...

    Fun huh?

    Anonymous said...

    You want to know something really creepy about it? They are highly sought-after as pets. Many people are now keeping various centipedes and millipedes as pets, along with various kinds of tarantulas, trap-door spiders, and emperor scorpions.