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Scolopendra morsitans "Tanzanian Tiger cent black head morph"


Old Timer
Jan 5, 2005
I was showing my room mate's girlfriend some of my bugs and she wanted to touch a centipede (this said while she was holding the container of a 5-6"/12-15cm long Scolopendra heros arizonensis) so i grabbed my faithful Tanzanian Tiger. it was behaving normally and she touched it with no apparent problems... but about five seconds after she felt it the little bugger bit me.

9:25 PM 1/20/2007 bite. around or under a second of contact time. bite on basal phalange of thumb. very minor local red & swelling almost immediately

9:34 PM 1/20/2007 red and local swelling spread to 1cm radius. slight pain in closest joints

9:41 PM 1/20/2007 pain is a 1/5. typing makes it worse. bummer.

9:48 PM 1/20/2007 boneache. surprisingly fast onset of all symptoms.

10:06 PM 1/20/2007 down to about 20-30% freedom of movement in my right hand thumb. a couple fingers of whisky took the edge off the pain.

10:52 PM 1/20/2007 swelling is reaching my wrist and has achieved half my palm and half the back of my hand

12:00 AM 1/21/2007 the entire disk (opposite of palm, the flesh that covers my metacarpals) of my hand is swollen

1:21 AM 1/21/2007 whole disk still swollen but my thumb is more usable now. seems like the rate of swelling has dropped off significantly.

10:20 AM 1/22/2007 whole hand still swollen. wrist joints sore and get uncomfortable when i apply my weight to them

9:00 PM 1/22/2007 (+24hours) whole had still swollen, but not as bad as it was at the worst

11:00 AM 1/23/2007 still swollen and a little sensitive. i can use that hand to write though, with out too much pain.

10:00AM 1/24/2007 (~ +60hours) swelling is greatly diminished. the skin of my hand looks kind of stretched out though ;)

11:26 AM 1/25/2007 no symptoms remain from bite. wowsa!

I am hesitant to take another bite to find out if Tanzanian Tigers are as human reactive as they appear to be. It bit me Saturday night and it was Tuesday or Wednesday before i shook off all the effects. I have been bitten by Scolopendra morsitans at least 50 times before, generally with no reaction whatsoever... but all from the Egyptian Emerald locality morph. It is very interesting that a species can exhibit so much difference depending on locality. We shall see if my curiosity overcomes my cowardice :)