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Double bite report! (S. morsitans & E. rubripes)

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Staehilomyces, Feb 10, 2019 at 2:53 AM.

  1. Staehilomyces

    Staehilomyces Arachnoprince Active Member

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    Well, after two years of handling centipedes, I had only ever taken dry bites, until last week. Then, I took two decent evenomations in a row.

    The first was from an 11-12cm BL Cairns Green Ethmostigmus rubripes. I had been working with the pede for a while, and in the last couple days, it was calming down noticeably. It was then that I got cocky, and overplayed my hand. I very foolishly handled it three times in a day (while the pede was calming down, I failed to realise that there was still a lot more work to go). The third time came to an abrupt end when the pede sank its forcipules into my right pointer finger, just below the nail. I immediately felt a searing pain, and after forcing the pede to let go with a blast of water, knew without a doubt that this was no dry bite. For the rest of the night (two hours or so), it felt like my finger was getting jammed in a door over and over again.
    Somehow, I managed to get some sleep, and the following morning, the pain had decreased significantly. However, the swelling had set in; the bitten finger was heavily swollen, and by midday, the swelling had spread to the back of my hand, plus my middle finger, staying that way for the rest of the day. The day after, the swelling began to subside, and by the morning after that, it was almost back to normal. However, it turned out I'd only have one day to enjoy having two functional hands again, for a second envenomation was on the way.

    The night after I recovered from the rubripes, I was doing some routinely maintenance, and I noticed one of my Scolopendra morsitans was out and about, so I decided to give it a feed. As soon as the lid came off, it wandered (not bolted) casually over the edge, and I decided to stop it with my hand. This pede measures a mere 6-7cm BL, so you can't blame me for not being very intimidated by it, having held far bigger and meaner pedes in the past (Azog, anyone?). Yet, a mere second or two after wandering onto my hand, the pede clamped down on my left pinky without warning.
    This was the bite that really shocked me. It wasn't agonising by any means, but coming from such a small pede, it was surprisingly strong.
    Immediately, my pinky felt like it was burning, and the swelling started to set in the same night. Unlike the rubripes envenomation, which felt like my finger was being jammed in a door, this was more of a pins and needles sensation - a more intense version of a wasp sting. By the following morning, the swelling rivalled that caused by the rubripes, and it remained so until the day after, when it began to subside. Now, it's almost completely better.

    So, that's that then. I still handle pedes (I have another morsitans that's almost fully "tamed"), but I now have way more respect for morsitans than I used to. If you choose to handle, always remember that bites, while unlikely, are an eventuality. I am also certain it could've been a lot worse: If Azog had gotten me, I'll wager it would hurt far worse than the two of them combined.
     
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  2. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnobaron Active Member

    I'm still not quite clear what it means when someone gives you a lollipop rating but I thought it was the most apt in this case :D
     
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  3. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Arachnoknight Active Member

    "How about we go in my van and take a ride around? I will by you a LOLIpop."
     
  4. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnobaron Active Member

    Which is why I don't handle. No disrespect to those who do, but I have enough pain in my life without adding more.
     
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  5. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnobaron Active Member

    Well that wasn't quite how I meant it :p