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Monday, August 25, 2008

Mystery Solved

Our 'buggy' mystery has been solved. (Thanks Cousin Denise and Mom.) Last Friday's house invader is called a house centipede. Specifically,

Order: Scutigeromorpha
Family: Scutigeridae
Genus and Species: Scutigera coleoptrata (Linnaeus)

And according to the University of Arkansas's Department of Entemology/Arthropod Museum webpage, (I'll highlight the good parts...)

"The house centipede is often seen darting across floors at high speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining motionless for some time before racing off once more. Its cylindrical body can grow to an inch or more in length. It is yellowish brown and bears three dark longitudinal stripes dorsally. The 15 pairs of slender, banded legs increase in length from the front to the back of the body. The last pair is much longer than the others. The legs give the animal the appearance of great size. Unlike most other centipedes, house centipedes and their close relatives have well-developed, faceted eyes." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!


"In captivity, (What the heck does "in captivity" mean? As opposed to "in the wild"?) house centipedes feed readily on cockroach nymphs, flies, moths, bedbugs, crickets, silverfish, earwigs, and other insects and small spiders. They capture prey by half pouncing and half lassoing them. They can capture several prey items at one time. They feed on one specimen while holding the others with their quivering, lashing appendages (Lewis 1981)." AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!


"Although house centipedes are not aggressive, and their jaws are not powerful enough to break human skin easily, they will sometimes bite in self-defense. Severe swelling and pain can result from the venom injected, but in most cases the bite is no worse than the sting of a bee."

Wikipedia adds, "The house centipede('s)... long, delicate legs and a rigid body... enable it to run with surprising speed... up walls and along ceilings and floors."

Needless to say, I am a walking, bug-killing arsenal. I see "well-developed, faceted eyes" everywhere. What the heck does "faceted" mean!!?? No... don't tell me. Do not tell me.

This is a zoomed in shot. Check the eye out for yourself.


Cindy said...

Where is the world do you live? Remind me I don't want to go there.
I hate bugs!!!
My hubby thought it was some sort of centipede but I always thought they had many more legs. Guess I was wrong!
Glad you got it figured out and I hope you never find another one.

Cindy said...

How fun ~ A friend from high school has a sweet business in Fayetteville called A Fare To Remember ( They are famous for her 100 layer cake and she made the Guiness book of world records for a 200+ layer cake.
Anyway, I live in Phoenix, AZ ~ I don't think we have centipedes but we have scorpians, black widows and rattle snakes. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

Superchikk said...

Dude, that is a "bug of prey"! It eats other bugs that I find to be more gross than it. Not saying I wouldn't kill it if I found one, but as long as it wants to eat other little detestable creatures smaller than itself and it stays out of my sight, I'm all about it.

Ben and Kristen said...

I highly recommend Advance Pest control. Love them!

Sherrilleta said...

Tears. Streaming.

Annie said...

ok, warn me next time. I read that while eating breakfast...bad idea!

Jill said...

I think there might be a little obsession issue about this bug with as much information as you got off RESEARCHING that thing! :) That just makes me giggle.

Becoming Me said...


John R.G. said...

Hope you don't have any more creepy crawlers!