Giant Centipedes on the Prowl

Foot-long arthropods carry painful venom

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Furryscaly/Flickr
    Scolopendra polymorpha.

    Poisonous giant centipedes are terrorizing the Alamo City area, according to KENS in San Antonio.

    The arthropods, which can grow up to a foot long, inject their victims with wicked venom dispensed either from the creatures’ pincers when they bite or from their legs when they simply crawl across a victim.

    The horde, up to 47 million stinging, dangerous predators, were reported moving northward toward the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Their only known natural enemy — vehicles, sedans and larger; roadsters don’t stand a chance against these monsters — could delay the march as is moves up Interstate 35, but the numbers are too great to save the entire region.

    OK, seriously, the centipedes feed on insects such as crickets, but the venom, while painful to humans for a few hours, is not lethal. They sting or bite humans typically because of accidental contact or because of a curious person picking up one of the creepy-looking beasties.

    "I felt something, my fingers, boom, I just jumped, I was just yelling, screaming and kicking, looking for it," Jose Deluna said in the KENS-TV report.

    When it happens, these babies hurt.

    Dr. Wright Heartsell, also quoted in the KENS report, compared the sensation to a wasp sting.

    There is simply no end to the number of things out there that can hurt us, but this one — a foot-long giant arthropod, and that’s just an odd word right there — is way off the creep-o-meter.

    Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area.