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Scolopendra hardwickei

micheldied

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
1,328
I guess this is the first bite report for this species.... What an honor.:rolleyes:

Was bitten by a 3-3.5" individual 3 times, while taking it out for pictures (which I didn't manage to get... Damn fast little buggers.)
I believe that only twice there was actual penetration of the skin.
I did not fling it off immediately, thinking this would make quite an interesting experience.
It let go on its own in almost half a second though.

Was bitten at 10.50pm on 1/4/2010.
Almost immediately a small bump formed on my right thumb knuckle, where the bite occurred.
A slight tingling sensation, and no pain at all.
The tingling has gone on for about 20 minutes, but is not always constant.

11.15pm, the feelings seem to have died down, almost unnoticeable, as has the bump on my knuckle.

11.40pm, it seems like the area around the bite, my thumb and the flesh between my thumb and the index finger, is now slightly swelled.
Slight tingling sensations have come back, this time also on other parts of my right hand.
My right hand also seems slightly lethargic, though I may be imagining things.

1.40am, no symptoms whatsoever. Even the wounds are barely noticeable now.

Here is a bad picture of the little bump, taken 10 minutes post-bite.
 
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Draiman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,822
Finally...

I don't know what got me to do it, but this afternoon I very impulsively decided I had to handle my big hardwickei girl (I hadn't before). She is an adult female, at least 22cm BL.

I held her for about 15 minutes in total (video currently being uploaded on Youtube) and it just had to be then - right after I stopped recording on my camera, when I was preparing to put her back in her enclosure, she bit me in two places at the tip of my middle finger on my right hand. Both bite sites immediately drew blood, she bit and held on for about 2-3 seconds. The hot pain hit me instantly, and within 10 minutes my finger was burning. Swelling is much more pronounced than what I have observed with my own bite experiences with other Scolopendra species, most of which do not cause too much swelling. 15-20 minutes post bite, which is about now, pain has spread to other fingers in the hand, at least my ring and pinky fingers. There is also some muscle ache in my palm muscles as I type this. The sharp, hot pain around the bite is as intense as before. I will upload a picture of the bleeding finger when I can, right now it is a monumental effort even to type

edit: dull ache in my right armpit beginning to develop

edit2: slight muscle ache in right forearm; pain in armpit getting a bit worse; most significantly - pain has developed on the right side of my chest over the last few minutes

edit3 if anything the hot pain at the bite site has gotten worse, and there is muscle ache all along the arm and some boneache in the elbow. the chest pain is still present and quite worrying

edit4: unmistakeable boneache crippling the affected finger now. the first joint after the knuckle is almost completely immobile and cannot bend.

edit5 (about 2.5 hours post-bite): the hot burning sensation at the bite wound has subsided slightly, but swelling has suddenly increased over the past 15-20 minutes or so. overall pain is generally slowly diminishing, but the finger is grotesquely swollen.

5.5 hours post bite - chest pain is gone, boneache and muscle pain in lower and upper arm mostly gone, but the bitten finger is still very swollen and very sore and tender.

~10 hours post bite - finger still extremely swollen (it looks like it's broken, the swelling is that bad) and sore. moving the finger results in a dull pain, but nothing spectacular. it is almost 2 in the morning here now, i'll post another update in the morning.

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tYu3YiCoIE

pic:

 
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Draiman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,822
Update - about 22 hours after bite: I woke up this morning with my finger itching like mad and as swollen as yesterday, possibly even more so. The entire finger is red and swollen, and bending it has become impossible. I have never experienced swelling of this extent from a Scolopendra bite before, and I've been bitten by plenty! No systemic effects to report though; no fever, no chills, no nausea/vomiting. Just a lot of pain and a lot of swelling.

~32 hours post bite: swelling in the finger has NOT decreased at all; still sore, tender and quite painful. Application of a cold pack helps somewhat, but not significantly. The soreness, itching and discomfort is enough for me to say I would not want to get bitten by this species again. I will post another update tomorrow, but I do not expect the swelling to go away for at least 2 to 3 more days.
 

Draiman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,822
48 hours post bite: no change; still red, swollen, sore and itching. No other symptoms to report. At this point I think I'll just wait until the swelling diminishes before I post another update, because it looks like it won't be going away for a while
 

Draiman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,822
4 days post bite: the swelling has finally started to wear off; note the word STARTED - it is still swollen, just less swollen than before. Still very itchy though.
 

Draiman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,822
5 days post bite: the swelling has finally gone down enough that the finger actually resembles a normal finger again. So I think that concludes my report. All in all I would say this was probably my worst ever bite, worse than the S. alternans bite which was painful enough to keep me awake all night. At its peak the pain I was in after the bite I would say reached about 8 on a pain scale of 1 to 10; probably not as painful as a broken bone but it was very, very uncomfortable and I was hopping around groaning. The chest pain was quite disconcerting - I had never got chest pain as the direct result of any bite from any of my animals before, and I have been bitten by numerous Scolopendra species as well as Old World theraphosids such as H. maculata and S. calceatum! It went away after about an hour, but the pain in my hand lasted a total of about 5 hours, and I was lucky the bite happened in the day, because if it was at night I definitely would not have been able to get to sleep. The best way I can describe the pain is this: imagine your finger getting stabbed by dozens of needles AND having very hot water poured on it at the same time. In conclusion, don't get bitten by this species!
 
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