Vietnamese Giant Centipede bites?

Godzillaalienfan1979

Arachnoknight
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Hi, all

I was interested in buying a Vietnamese Giant Centipede. I have heard many dramatizations about their venom, so it's hard to find an accurate answer. I understand the initial bite is painful. Small venom is no problem, but if it requires medical attention, I'd prefer a Tiger Centipede, whose venom I assume is weaker.
 

Dennis Nedry

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S. dehaani bites are very, very painful. I don't think a bite would kill you but the pain alone would probably make you want to go to a hospital
 
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Greasylake

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I've read a few bite reports where people have been bitten by S. Subspinipes and had to go to the hospital for the pain. Now this being said most of the bite reports I read resulted from people trying to handle the pede to just generally being irresponsible with their animal. I have a subspinipes and I've been close to being bitten by it. I've found that centipedes would much rather burrow down and try to hide rather than bite you. Even though this might the case no matter what centipede you get you have to treat it with respect. The moment you stop respecting a venomous animal is the moment things start going wrong.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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I only know one person who's been "bitten" (stung?) by a S. subspinipes - and he was foolishly trying to hand feed it a pinkie mouse. :eek:
Turns out, to a centipede, pinkie mice and fingers look pretty much the same. :rolleyes:
Anyway, he said it was the worst pain he'd ever been in - like someone was slamming his hand in a car door over and over and over again - and he did end up in the hospital for the pain.
Knowing what they are capable of, I have never attempted to hold/touch/hand-feed mine. I have, however, handled a couple of wild tiger centipedes (S. polymorpha) while out hiking/bug hunting and have never been tagged by one - yet. (And if it does happen, at least it's not supposed to be all that bad.)
 

Chris LXXIX

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Personally I wouldn't underestimate the venom of certain Asian 'pedes at all. I still think that said kind of venom can be more 'dangerous' than the old, good, classic OW Theraphosidae ones... and I'm thinking about the likes of P.murinus, now.

It's not only a pain so much brutal that, without doubts, would require medical attention, but what those venom contains, in particular... can't be too much detailed now, but that stuff is more 'active' and with more 'ingredients' (lol) than T's one, so careful.
 
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NYAN

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The tiger centipede (scolopendra polymorpha) venom is very mild. I’ve been bitten a few times and it’s like a bee sting. The worst of the bites only left a red spot for 2 days after that was a slight bit tender. On the other hand dehanni I’ve heard is brutal, some say it’s the worst pain they’ve ever experienced. Even the worst bite won’t necessarily need medical attention. from my understanding, there isn’t much they can do besides give you a tetanus shot maybe, and pain killers don’t seem to affect it. I’ve had several dehanni and haven’t been bitten, yet, as long as you are careful and respectful of the animal you should be fine.
 
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LawnShrimp

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I have said to people who asked me, "A dehaani bite can't kill you but it can make you wish it did." It's entirely overdramatic but especially if you are not expecting a bite, they are one of the worst as far as venom goes, despite being one of the most commonly available species.
I don't think painkillers actually work on centipede bites (at least safe amounts don't) so most bite cases are taken to the hospital only as a precaution. Unless you have an allergy, the best way to handle a centipede envenomation is to just endure it. There really isn't much medical attention necessary or applicable to 'pede venom at the moment.
If you do get bitten, it will only be very painful for the first 24+ hours. I've not been bitten by a dehaani yet but all centipede bites affect lymph nodes, cause localizes swelling, and cause a bone-tingling effect. Your hand may itch and shed skin for up to a week but there really aren't that many aftereffects from the bite besides the pain.

You shouldn't get bitten unless you try something unsafe, like handling, hand-feeding, or getting within striking range of a hungry centipede. I take it that you aren't planning to socialize it (don't recommend for a dehaani) so use tongs as much as possible and just be safe. If you want to get a polymorpha instead and work your way up to dehaani, that is fine too. Polys are probably better as a beginner 'pede anyway because they are less unpredictable. Half the danger of dehaani is that they are often inclined to thrash about and try to escape when they are provoked, whereas polys would rather hide.
 

kermitdsk

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I know a case on a now unfortunately closed German forum, after a bite of a Scolopendra (I do not remember which species) a guy decided not to go to the doctor because he could endure the pain. One or two weeks later he was at the doctor because of extreme pain and was immediately emergency operated. He had blood poisoning due to the infection and if he had go a few days later to the doctor he had lost his finger. I think the probability is low but it is possible. And I think you should not hide the danger of infection in all discussions about bite accidents. The pictures he posted looked extremely bad. I don't won't tell a horror story but you should think about that risk and not only about the venom. To go to an Doctor is never fals.
 

Godzillaalienfan1979

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I only know one person who's been "bitten" (stung?) by a S. subspinipes - and he was foolishly trying to hand feed it a pinkie mouse. :eek:
Turns out, to a centipede, pinkie mice and fingers look pretty much the same. :rolleyes:
Anyway, he said it was the worst pain he'd ever been in - like someone was slamming his hand in a car door over and over and over again - and he did end up in the hospital for the pain.
Knowing what they are capable of, I have never attempted to hold/touch/hand-feed mine. I have, however, handled a couple of wild tiger centipedes (S. polymorpha) while out hiking/bug hunting and have never been tagged by one - yet. (And if it does happen, at least it's not supposed to be all that bad.)
yeah, good idea. If I ever did get one, even if it was small one, I'd feed it via tongs, or just drop the prey item in.
 

Godzillaalienfan1979

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Jan 12, 2018
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I only know one person who's been "bitten" (stung?) by a S. subspinipes - and he was foolishly trying to hand feed it a pinkie mouse. :eek:
Turns out, to a centipede, pinkie mice and fingers look pretty much the same. :rolleyes:
Anyway, he said it was the worst pain he'd ever been in - like someone was slamming his hand in a car door over and over and over again - and he did end up in the hospital for the pain.
Knowing what they are capable of, I have never attempted to hold/touch/hand-feed mine. I have, however, handled a couple of wild tiger centipedes (S. polymorpha) while out hiking/bug hunting and have never been tagged by one - yet. (And if it does happen, at least it's not supposed to be all that bad.)
how long are Tigers when fully stretched out? I was planning on getting Vietnamese Giants because of their impressive size (cause why not), but now i'm a little hesitant because of their venom.
 

NYAN

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Depends on the locality... some think that because certain locality remain small they are actually different species. The largest polymorpha can get 6 inches or more but usually just 6. Blue morphs tend to be smaller though.
 

Chris LXXIX

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how long are Tigers when fully stretched out? I was planning on getting Vietnamese Giants because of their impressive size (cause why not), but now i'm a little hesitant because of their venom.
Consider however a thing. Despite their brutal venom, despite what was said above in the whole thread (all true), the care of Asian 'pedes is pretty easy at the end of the day... they are IMO hardy (I continue to say that 'pedes are more hardy than a lot of people thinks) and their defensive temperament was always and still is, by far, a bit a lot on the over-exaggerate side.

My 0.1 Scolopendra subspinipes (purchased of course as unsexed and arrived gravid, lol) is by far more 'calmer' than my 'calmer' OW Theraphosidae.

The real serious thing is (but mind, this detail goes for basically every 'pede) that they are pure finest escape masters... actually I don't think exist a venomous invert more skilled into 'Houdini' tricks than centipedes. T's? They are a joke, if compared, on such ability.

That's why to offer a no escape at all enclosure is mandatory and always suggested. This fact, combined with the brutal venom they possess, was and is warranty enough for 'understand', at least, all of those 'Myth shadows' that involves those animals.

Reality is that maintenance is easy, they don't tend to 'attack' the (long) tongs you need for maintenance. They are more on the 'calculate' and wait animals.

Oh, yes, btw... I'm not saying at all that you should buy one, eh. Do as you wish.
 

LawnShrimp

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I know a case on a now unfortunately closed German forum, after a bite of a Scolopendra (I do not remember which species) a guy decided not to go to the doctor because he could endure the pain. One or two weeks later he was at the doctor because of extreme pain and was immediately emergency operated. He had blood poisoning due to the infection and if he had go a few days later to the doctor he had lost his finger. I think the probability is low but it is possible. And I think you should not hide the danger of infection in all discussions about bite accidents. The pictures he posted looked extremely bad. I don't won't tell a horror story but you should think about that risk and not only about the venom. To go to an Doctor is never fals.
Of course, it is imperative that you disinfect and clean the wound to avoid infection and to ask a doctor for antibiotics in necessary. But the affects of the bite itself and not bacteria that enter the wound are not yet treatable. Maybe I wasn't too clear in my first post; what I meant was that is not always necessary to seek medical attention for a bite but I do recommend it.
 

LawnShrimp

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how long are Tigers when fully stretched out? I was planning on getting Vietnamese Giants because of their impressive size (cause why not), but now i'm a little hesitant because of their venom.
Dehaani can get over 9 inches when they get old (and they live for along time too). Polys can get up to 6 inches but the most commonly sold ones are smaller.
 

Chris LXXIX

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For instance, when I say that they are more on the 'calculate' side rather than rely on a pure 'crazy' defensive temperament like 'supposed' to be, is due to things like this v

Scolopendra 1.jpg

Sorry for the low quality pic, but what IMO matters is how my 'pede reacts when I, on purpose, lift her favourite piece of cork bark, for say a 'Hello' :kiss: - not saying this is needed at all, eh... but since mine is a pure pet hole, unless when she's hungry, I'd love to check her sometimes.

Well, she remain 'calmer', like nothing. I can't, obviously, do the same thing with, no matter which, one of my OW T's. Actually, not even with certain NW ones. But definitely I would receive a different kind of 'welcome' if I lift my 'OBT' fav. cork bark, ah ah.

Granted, different animals. Still :)
 

chanda

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how long are Tigers when fully stretched out? I was planning on getting Vietnamese Giants because of their impressive size (cause why not), but now i'm a little hesitant because of their venom.
My current S. polymorpha is around 6"-plus - and extremely fat! Others I've had in the past grew to similar length, but weren't as big around. I know she isn't gravid because I've had her for several years already and she's never been mated. I typically feed her 1-2 crickets (depending on size) about once every week to week and a half. She's not super active, but I frequently see her prowling around her cage at night. She typically spends her days under a piece of bark.

I also have a S. subspinipes dehaani that's a bit bigger (maybe 8" or so?) who spends most of his time burrowed under his substrate. I very rarely see him at all. While I know he has a potent venom, I really don't have any issues with him. The tank is tall enough that he can't escape (centipedes can't climb smooth glass), the lid has a pin lock to prevent it being accidentally knocked ajar - just in case he somehow figured out a way up the glass, and I'm careful about caring for him. I drop the feeders in rather than hand or tong feeding him. When I need to remove dead crickets or mold from his enclosure, I use tongs instead of fingers. As long as you exercise reasonable caution, the venom shouldn't be a major concern.

The size of the subspinipes is impressive - but honestly, I like the polymorpha just as well (or even a bit better) because I get to see her more.

Next on my list is S. heros - if I can manage to find/catch one!
 

LeFanDesBugs

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I've almost been tagged by my Cherry red once. She bit the 3" tweezers (too short, I know, sorry) and was only a centimeter away from my finger.
A friend of mine was bit by a 7" thai dehaani (those get to 11.5", so it wasn't a huge specimen by any means). This variant has supposedly the worst venom out of all the dehaani locales. He nearly lost his finger, and told me that when the venom kicked in, he'd rather have cut off his finger had he been able to.
 

Chris LXXIX

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A friend of mine was bit by a 7" thai dehaani (those get to 11.5", so it wasn't a huge specimen by any means). This variant has supposedly the worst venom out of all the dehaani locales. He nearly lost his finger, and told me that when the venom kicked in, he'd rather have cut off his finger had he been able to.
How the bite happened, if I can ask? But more, when you said that he nearly lost his finger, was due to a sorta of infection, post bite issue?
 

LeFanDesBugs

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He was sexing the specimen. It waked up too fast and latched onto him. Couldn't detach it fast enough :(
That's why I always have someone with me when sexing a pede, to make sure I can have some backup if needed! (not talking about harming the pede but, for example, using the angular part of some tongs so as to keep the pede's head in place on the table if you know what gesture I'm talking about :) )

He indeed suffered from an infection afterwards if I remember correctly. The swelling didn't help.
 
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