The Centipede That Crawled Throughout The Door Frame

Centipede that crawled through the door frame today

Last week I changed the water on the aquarium. I used the spigot in the front of the house with the Python venturi pump, which caused all the water to dump right near the front door. About 15 minutes later Saturn the cat was the front door, trying to climb to the top. I went to investigate and a few seconds later centipede came through the door frame.

This is the first time I have seen a centipede at the house and the first time I have seen a Scolopendra Hereos at all. At about 3 inches long, it’s half the length of the centipede I previously posted about in Austin, Texas. The one I captured looked exactly the same, until I killed it with alcohol and it lost some of it’s color.

I would rather have scorpions than these things any day.

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FDA Approves Bark Scorpion Antivenin

AZCentral reports that the FDA has approves a Bark Scorpion antivenin. The little scorpions I get around the house here in Rio Rancho are not Bark Scorpions, thankfully. They sometimes are in New Mexico, but they are mostly in Arizona and Mexico.

Anascorp is made by a Mexican company, Instituto Bioclon, from the plasma of horses that are immunized with scorpion venom. The FDA approved the drug based on a UA-led study that found that children treated with the drug rapidly improved with few side effects.

Scorpions are a major problem in Mexico, where nearly a quarter-million scorpion stings are reported each year.

Boyer said the company agreed to open its doors to the FDA’s rigorous inspection process to ensure its manufacturing practices passed muster.

According to Boyer, this is the first time the FDA approved a drug that was made and developed in Latin America.

A Giant Centipede In Austin Texas

centipede

Reddit user DamnColorblindness posted a picture titled “This was waiting for me by the front door this morning“.

I thought maybe the photo was in some tropical foreign country, but this centipede is located in Austin, TX. These are called Texas giant centipedes or Scolopendra heros. Though these can be found in New Mexico, I have never heard of a centipede this big in the Albuquerque area.

Reddit user Jozer99 says centipedes hate you.

Careful with centipedes. I did some graduate research on these little beasts, and came away with new-found fear and loathing.
Snakes only bite you if they feel threatened by you. Sharks want to eat seals, don’t look like a seal and you are A-OK. Tarantulas are more afraid of you then you are of them. Bees are just defending their nest from perceived threats.
On the other hand, centipedes hate you. Not just humans, you in particular. Centipedes are remarkable in that they have a special individual loathing for every creature on the planet, as well as many inanimate objects. If a centipede can sense your presence, it wants to do nothing more than to fuck you up. You don’t have to poke it with a stick, or step to near its nest, you just have to be somewhere nearby, and a centipede is more than happy to kamikaze you. It doesn’t help that many centipedes have poisonous front legs that have evolved into giant needle like pincers, and despite having several dozen legs, many larger centipedes are capable of moving at close to 10 miles per hour. They are also armor plated and are nearly impossible to squash. Centipedes spend their lives wandering around and picking fights with whatever creatures they happen to meet, be they insects, spiders, birds or even small mammals. They usually win, munch on their victims a bit, then move on to the next helpless victim.
Stay the fuck away from centipedes.

While common in Austin, they have painful but not deadly venom. I will take the occasional scorpion over one of these.

On Flickr, I posted a video of a centipede I found while walking on the sidewalk at work in Rio Rancho, NM. It’s 1/1000 the side of the one pictured in Austin.

First Scorpion Of 2011

I woke up this morning about 4am (don’t ask why, I was awake and I got up). Saturn the Cat was laying next to me. I expected her to get up with me and run into the kitchen and meow to be fed, instead she went to the front door and sat there.

I know something is up when she doesn’t want food right away so I got the flashlight and found a scorpion in a space between the floor and the front door. I got a pair of needle-nosed pliers and put the scorpion in a glass, while trying to keep Saturn away from it.

First scorpion of 2011

My cat is part bloodhound.

part bloodhound cat

It is possible to train a cat. For the last several years I have been using positive reinforcement whenever she finds a bug, but specifically a scorpion. She wants me to know about them if she doesn’t manage to kill them first.

That she plays with them then kills them is probably not something that I could have trained her to do. I have seen the scorpions sting Saturn, usually on the nose while she is trying to sniff them. This results in her getting pissed off and smashing the scorpion with her giant 6-toed polydactyl paw.

I’m pretty sure this scorpion came in from the garage since I forgot and left the door to the garage propped open overnight. I open the door so that Saturn can go into the garage and hunt (or whatever it is she does in there). Since big garage door to the outside is warped and I have seen scorpions go into the garage, finding them in the house will probably continue to be an issue until I have the garage door replaced.

Cows And Guns In Rio Rancho

Back in October, the local news station KRQE recently two stories about Rio Rancho. I like living in Rio Rancho, I like being on the edge of civilization and I will deal with the occasional scorpion, dust storm. Or cows.

When I moved here 15 years ago I used to drive around in the desert that is now Northern Meadows. There were cows then just like there are cows now.

Residents in Rio Rancho’s North Meadows say they don’t know what to do with a growing problem. A cattle herd has been traveling from the west ends of the city limits into neighborhoods causing car crashes and eating gardens at some homes.

Another thing I did when I moved here was to go out and shot guns at the end of Southern Blvd. Then there wasn’t a house in site but now that the area has developed, people, not me, are still out there shooting.

That’s because Sara–who asked News 13 not to use her real name because she fears retaliation–lives in an area that is a popular but illegal shooting range. She said she often hears nonstop gunfire, especially on weekends, from people shooting weapons in the desert near her home at the far west end of Southern Boulevard near 38th Street.

Having people guns near and at your house makes having a cow problem not so bad.

Scorpions In San Diego, California

I just got back from a week long trip to San Diego, California. While there I thought (for among many reasons) that it would be nice to live there and not have to worry about scorpions.

I was wrong.

Ryan Rubion made a comment on one of my San Diego pictures on Flickr in which I find his picture of a captured Scorpion. In San Diego.

Captured Scorpion

Compare Ryan’s photo of a captured scorpion to my own recently captured scorpion (by my cat) in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

DSC00254

Building A Habitat For Scorpions And Trying To Keep Them

I thought I would try to turn a negative into a positive with my scorpions situation by capturing them and keeping in them in a glassed habitat in the house. Perhaps there’s money to be made selling scorpions.

The first thing I did was to clean out a 10 gallon aquarium that was being unused.

Scorpion habitat from a 10 gallon aquarium

I then added cactus from the back yard.

Adding cactus to a scorpion habitat

I then added some sandy soil (commonly referred to as dirt), also from the back yard.

Adding sandy soil to the scorpion habitat

I then added a pile of rocks, from the front yard this time.

Adding a pile of rocks to the scorpion habitat

I then added the scorpion (Vaejovis flavus). This one came from inside the house.

Possible Vaejovis flavus species of scorpion?

The first scorpion died after keeping it in the tank for about a month. This was despite providing it several crickets that it quickly ate.

Since Saturn the cat came along, I rarely get a scorpion before she kills them. Plus she is has eliminated the scorpion food supply in the house so I don’t know that I will get much more of them. The tank currently sits empty.