Okay, this is a preemptive warning to all those that are a teeny bit freaked out by bugs. The bug below is the King of creepy. The Sultan of goosebumps. The Grand Poobah of nightmares. The CEO of scream out loud. The.....you get the picture.
His black, segmented body can reach 8 inches long. He has been found in Arkansas, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and far northern Mexico. He has 21 pairs of legs. The final two at the back of his body, while fearsome looking, are not "teeth" as some would believe. His yellow antennae are in constant movement looking for prey.
Yes, they are predators. They eat things like crickets and scorpions and roaches, but I still don't want one in or near the house. They deliver a most painful bite and venom to go with it. They won't kill you, but just the thought of it make me wish for a snake bite instead.
So, why is this post entitled, "Bubbles". Let me tell you! One morning I was making my coffee and my daughter, Pearl, came down with one of these monsters in one of those disposable food containers. Mind you, it was only 2 inches long, but still! "I named him Bubbles, because I found him the bathtub last night when I was getting ready for bed." "He was a little afraid at first, so it took me a while to catch him." "Why didn't you just squish him--scorpions and centipedes don't get rescued, they get squished. That's the rule!" "Because." "Hey, do you think he would eat a grasshopper if I caught one?" "You are not keeping that thing as a pet!" (as she walks out to catch a grasshopper)
It was so much like a sound effect from a horror movie when he ate the poor grasshopper! Crunch, crunch, crunch. Lucky for me, Mr. Red Headed Centipede ate only one hopper and then went on a hunger strike to protest his captivity. Two days later, my kind hearted daughter let him go----a long way from the house.
"Mom, how do you suppose it got in the house? Since it's a baby, do you think there are more?"
Thanks Pearl, thanks a lot. I didn't even think of that.
Here's your warning. The picture is not one I took. We tried to get pictures of Mr. Red Headed Centipede, but he wouldn't sit still. Maybe he was on the lamb from the law or something?