Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Warning: Nightmare Inducing Insect Alert

Creepy Insect Pictures Ahead

Well, for some folks a nightmare might be induced by my subject.
I will admit that this insect has some powerful 'freak out' abilities when it's alive.
Let me assure you, this one is very dead.
At least some good came from our 17* weather over the winter.

This tropical-rainforest-looking dude is a Red Headed Centipede.
They are not an invader from another country like our now common, Fire Ant.
They are native, not only to Texas, but to Arkansas, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico.

While my find is quite large, they have been known to reach 12 inches in length.

They eat mostly insects. Their favorites seem to be things with exoskeletons--crickets, pillbugs, earwigs, cockroaches and scorpions. Some larger ones have been observed killing and eating small snakes, frogs and toads.

Are they venomous. You betcha!

Can the venom kill you? Not likely, unless you are allergic. Which is also not likely.

Does it hurt to get bitten? Like a son-of-a-gun! Sometimes the pain lasts for two days.

Do they come in your house and get in bed with you? No, they prefer the great outdoors under logs and rocks. Unless you happen to have rocks and crickets in your bed.

Is it normal to scream like a little girl if you happen upon one while moving rocks? Yes, yes it is.

I have posted many times about Texas' many less savory creatures. Creatures that won't be pictured in glossy pamphlets you might receive from the Texas tourism bureau. Please be assured that the Texas countryside is not swarming with Centipedes, Coral Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Black Widow Spiders, Fire ants, Brown Recluse spiders, Flying Cockroaches, and Tarantulas.
I just want to share a little of the creepier side of our flora and fauna. Heck, everybody knows about white-tailed deer. Now you can say you know about Red Headed Centipedes.

Being a Texan is not for the faint of heart. It builds character when you scream like a little girl and survive to take pictures.


  1. LOL. That one would make ANYONE scream; at least if its arrival was a surprise. Big, big leggy thing. It proves again that Texas has the corner on BIG. I'm proud of whoever carried it in (even though dead) for the photo shoot.

    It and most of the other things on that list of bad boys can't take an Idaho winter. Okay, we have rattlers and black widow spiders--still, below zero keeps out the riff-raff.

  2. OMG, I would have REALLY screamed if I came across that! How was it killed? It looked intact and not damaged. And you even flipped it over for it's photo shoot...Brave one! MD doesn't have any red-headed monsters, I dont think.....


  3. That is one creepy looking critter. Thanks for showing it to us; now I know what to look out for.

  4. Ha ha! That is one huge centipede. I can't imagine being bitten by that thing. I love your posts about the creatures you have there. Hope you are doing ok.

  5. Yikes! That thing is HUGE! I am not typically squeamish about bugs, but I think if I found that thing lurking under a rock I picked up I'd pass out cold! You do have some mighty interesting creatures in Texas and I always love your posts about them.

  6. Leenie and Lynn, It was killed by the cold. That said, I never touched it with my hands, should it spring back to life on my kitchen table. Tongs, kebob skewers and needle nose pliers were my tools for posing him.

    Linda, they're pretty rare to run across. You'd probably never see one if you weren't turning over rocks or logs.

    Vonda, luckily I've never been bitten. I wear gloves when I'm working in my pastures moving rocks. Never know what critter will be hiding out.

    Penny, no passing out---it might run up your pant leg as you lay on the ground. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :)

  7. Lord have mercy. Thanks for the warning, CeeCee. *shivers* :)

  8. Are you KIDDING me? Six inches long?!! It totally looks like one of those rubber insect toys you find at Target (you know, the kind kids get to FREAK PEOPLE OUT???!!). Now, if I were to *find* one, say under a rock or something, I'd be totally fine. However. If that same freaky thing were to run across my foot or hand or something, I would wet my pants. Texas truly isn't for the faint-hearted.

  9. Get some of the snakes that live down there also. I remember HUGE snakes down around Junction, Texas when I was a kid.

    Great post...the things we do for a blog post. Been there!


  10. Eldest Offspring!April 6, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Nooope I definitely learned in Bio last semester that they will sneak in your bed! Better check now ;)

  11. Justina, you're welcome. :)
    Danni, y'all have those giant, poop colored slugs. They're pretty scary. I guess they can't run up your pant leg, though.

    Eldest Offspring, is this the same biology class where you "learned" that the flu shot will give you the West Nile virus? :)