Monday, September 20, 2010

Bite the Toes?

When my son was still a baby, he had an endearing little habit. When you'd peek into the crib to say good morning, he'd swing his baby feet invitingly up into the air and say, "Bite the toes?"

I thought about him as I sat down, barefoot as usual, at the computer table the other morning. I caught a little glimpse of something underneath just where I was about to put my feet and figured that it was time to put on my glasses. Was that a lizard tail? Part of a snake?

Nope. It was this guy.

He had already passed away when I found him and was toes up

I flipped him over; he was about 5 inches long


I'm afraid he had picked up a few cat hairs in his final battle

I believe that he was a common (I hope not too common) desert centipede. According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website these creatures have bites that are painful, but not poisonous. Just in case my cats plan to make a habit of bringing these fellows into the house, I will be wearing shoes from now on whenever my feet are somewhere that I can't keep an eye on them.

13 comments:

becky said...

Centipedes have always given me the creeps! Great crisp photos, though... what camera are you using?

clairz said...

Becky, thank you for the "crisp photos" comment. It is such a struggle for me to take pix that are in focus. These days I am mostly using my little Canon PowerShot (SD1300 IS, to be exact). Since getting it, I'm afraid I've left the big Canon (Rebel XT) mostly in the camera bag.

And I am wearing my glasses, which helps a lot!

Diane AZ said...

What a cute story and great pictures! Since you live in the desert, don't forget to check inside your shoes for scorpions before putting them on. :D

clairz said...

Oh, yes, Diane, I always shake out my shoes before putting them on. Now I pull back the sheets and examine what might be in bed with me, too, LOL!

Quiet Paths said...

EEEEK! Right now here it is earwigs which I do NOT like. They get into everything; the mop, your wash clothes, your underwear... shiver.

clairz said...

Christine, earwigs would be a big problem for me. When I was a child in San Francisco I saw an earwig on the sofa and never sat there again. What would I be forced to do if I found earwigs in the underwear???? ;)

Val said...

We see these 2-3 times a year - after a heavy rain - usually. About 8 years ago I witnessed a man being bit by one of these (but much bitter). We were standing in a group waiting for a ranger to give an intro talk before going into Carlsbad Caverns. The centipede came out of the rocks and bit this man on the hand - it was as big as a snake, we saw it run along the rocks after it bit him. Even after being bit, he continued on the trek into the caves. They are interesting creatures!

Deb said...

Eeeewwwwwww! Wouldn't want a run in with him in
the dark...or in the toe of my shoes! Must be bug week in blogland...

charlotte g said...

In 18 years out there, I never saw a live one, but I saw traces, and I think there are more on your side of the mountains. My dad used to talk about seeing them when he attended NTSU.

Experienced a vinegaroon yet? I remember my calm grandmother almost screaming when she found one in the kitchen. She coached me as I very gently ("don't scare it! don't scare it!") shooed it through the dining room, the living room, and out the front door. That would be a worthy smell challenge for fabreze.

charlotte g said...

BTW, I had to exit your post and Google earwigs. To my surprise, I have seen them outside, but so occasionally I didn't even know what they were. Cockroaches and water bugs, now.... Interesting. Every place has its pests, doesn't it?

Nan said...

I couldn't take it. :<)

JC said...

Creepy crawlies

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

*shiver* Those things give me the creeps.
They get into our house sometimes, too. But our indoor cats kill and eat 'em! Yeah!

Awesome macros.....albeit a little scary!


~Lisa


ps the header photo is gorgeous!