Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Danger! Giant Redheaded Centipede in the pasture!

Giant Redheaded Centipede
While doing some maintenance in the cow's winter pasture, I noticed Zena (Anatolian Shepherd) biting and snapping at something in the shorter grass.  Whatever it was had her jumping backwards after each snap.  Figured she had a snake and so I went closer to investigate.  It was no snake, but one of the most frightening-looking creatures I have ever seen up close and personal.  At the time I didn't know what it was or if it was poisonous.  Not taking any chances I scooped it into a bucket.  Mind you, NOT with bare hands! Good thing - after a little research, I realized just how bad this creature was.  It was a Giant Redheaded Centipede (GRC).  Also known by it's scientific name, Scolopendra heros.  The venom of the GRC is highly potent, extremely painful and can cause swelling.  The GRC is usually around 6-9 inches long - our "guy" is on the smaller end - a mere 6.5 inches (Note: length is approximate - didn't get that close for an exact measurement).  Each of the feet look like sharp daggers or fangs and can leave cuts in the skin which are irritated by the venom.  There are no "confirmed" human deaths due to the GRC's venom, but the GRC's bite can cause nausea, headache, skin necrosis, and in some extreme cases can cause kidney failure and heart attacks*. When GRCs get irritated or on alert the last two appendages rise into the air and can grab.  At first, I mistakenly took these as it's head.  The GRC likes to live under rocks or logs and eat small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.  Know enough now that this is one creepy crawly I don't want to tangle with - Thanks Zena for your ever watchful ever protective self!

*information from on-line source, Wikipedia