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Creepy crawlers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Infernalis, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    I don't know... I shoved one down the garbage disposal and the next day there were three huge ones in my kitchen, and one in the hallway.
     
  2. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    I'm the exact same way with respect to removal! I actually let most kinds of spiders live in my house. We only have a few types here that require concern. Certain individuals are a little too big to be ignored by my cat so I move them outside. I never EVER kill spiders though. Not even widows.
     
  3. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Lol, I keep widows as pets.
     
  4. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Was the one you shoved down your garbage disposal also found in your kitchen or hallway?
     
  5. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Yes, it was in my kitchen sink.
     
  6. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    I've never heard of that but I'd guess it's probably pheromones, not necessarily blood, that attracts others, especially a females'. Keep in mind where there is often one specific species of insect nearby there is likely another. Anyway, many bees, wasps, hornets and ants will use pheromones to communicate, especially when threatened and while centipedes do not have a social structure they do communicate using pheromones--if you smoosh one, you're likely releasing those pheromones.
     
  7. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    That makes perfect sense.
     
  8. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    What makes more sense to me, given that you found the first one in the kitchen (without being attracted to a prior squashing) and the others in the kitchen or in a nearby hallway, is that there are just a lot of centipedes in that area. If I swatted a mosquito/fly/cockroach and then later found more mosquitoes/flies/cockroaches, I wouldn't assume the others had come because I'd swatted the first one. I'd just assume there are just a lot of mosquitoes/flies/cockroaches about.

    As solitary animals, the only pheromones a centipede needs would be to attract a mate and even then that would be limited to a certain time of year and the quantity they'd have at any point in time wouldn't be enough that a mammoth-load would be released upon smooshing, enough to attract many other centipedes all at once. If that were the case, then the same thing would happen every time you killed any female animal and smooshed it, not just centipedes.

    I still say old wife's tale/urban myth.
     
  9. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    It could be. I haven't actually researched it, nor am I really all that curious to. Besides that first group, I really haven't seen many inside my house. There were two more, months apart.
     
  10. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Finding two others in the house at other times, even months apart, suggests that there were a lot of centipedes in that area. They're not the sort of thing one often finds inside the house that frequently. I presume neither of those others was drawn in by the smooshed remains of other centipedes, either. If we were able to collect all of the information surrounding those seemingly random appearances, you'll probably find a more meaningful explanation than the smooshed remains of other centipedes. Rainy days, hot days, maybe even the time of year when they are seeking mates and more inclined to go out wandering outside their normal hide spots. They dehydrate pretty readily, so you'll probably find a pattern with humidity levels.

    I know I sound pretty cynical, but I'm a zoologist by training and am used to hearing all sorts of urban myths about animals. It's understandable how they start and how they are perpetuated - humans inherently try to find patterns in, and/or explanations for, seemingly random occurrences and sometimes the real explanation isn't as easy a pattern to pick up as something else that occurs at the same time. There's a pretty famous case of that here in Australia, concerning small spiders called white-tailed spiders (Lampona sp.). For the longest time they were thought to be responsible for really nasty bites that result in skin necrosis, leaving large gaping sores that don't heal. In fact, this is still the common belief about them because old myths don't die easily.

    A few years ago, a couple of scientists decided to do a study on these spiders and their bites. They looked at all of the records of bites by these spiders and all of the cases of skin lesions that were meant to have resulted from the bites. A clear pattern emerged. In the instances in which the spiders were seen to have actually bitten the person, there was rarely a skin lesion. In almost all of the instances of skin lesions appearing, the person did not see the spider bite them, but happened to see a white-tailed spider at roughly the same time (within a few days of the bite). They are a pretty distinctive looking spider, so most people will remember them.

    It turns out that the spiders weren't responsible for the skin lesions, after all. They are a very common spider, much more common than most people realise, but usually only enter homes under certain climactic conditions - particularly when it is rainy and humid out. If one is going to develop a skin lesion from some pathogen, it is most likely going to happen at a time of year when it is rainy and humid out. Combine skin lesion with seeing a spider you've never seen before and bingo, an association is made. The association was so strong that years ago, when I found a few white-tailed spiders inside and rang the museum to see if they were interested in any live specimens for educational displays they told me to kill the spiders immediately, as there was no cure for their bite (by way of comparison, they wouldn't even suggest that for funnel-web spiders, one of the two most deadly spiders in the world). I was shocked at their response and promptly released the spiders, unharmed. This was long before the spiders were vindicated, but even now whenever I mentioned white-tailed spiders the immediate response of most people is 'ewww, they have a terrible bite'.
     
  11. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    That's really interesting. I actually like the way you think. Like I said, I really haven't thought much about it because I really didn't care all that much, so obviously I didn't collect background information. I do know that the group of them were found right after I moved in. I know that before people move in to homes there, they have crewmen in and out of the house, so that could mean doors or windows were left open. I moved in during the rainy, hot season. I believe the second instance was towards the end of summer, so also rainy and hot. Third time was around Thanksgiving, I think, perhaps a bit afterwards. Cooler and drier. I also had the tendancy to leave open my back porch.

    If this is a fact, or if it is an urban legend, they take it pretty seriously over there. They have a brigade for the safe removal of these things. Then again, the Japanese are very superstitious about a lot of things.
     
  12. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    People defend superstitions and urban myths much more vehemently than facts, in my experience. I've often semi-joked with friends about getting together and writing a book called 'sh_t people say about animals' and compiling all of the stories we've heard over the years. Some are really persistent and most are so widespread that they are commonly accepted as 'fact'. We've all grown up with stories that have been passed on by others, but it's not until one examines them and really questions whether or not they are feasible that most start falling apart.
     
  13. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Well, now you have another story to add to your compilations. I'd buy it.
     
  14. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    At least it's not an over-the-top one.
     
  15. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Can you debunk this one? Habu (pit viper) venom, when ingested, acts as a ”little blue pill” for men.
     
  16. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    Yea, like I said where there's one, there are usually others.

    In BB's case, there is really nothing saying that it wasn't breeding season and we really don't know when, or for how long, that season is or if it even exists (or maybe you do?). Most insect breeding is triggered by and depends on outdoor conditions or cycles, but if the conditions indoors are just right what would be stopping them? My main point was in reference to the blood of a dead individual attracting others--while it may sound like myth in reality it could very well have to do with the release of pheromones. I'm not stating it happens every single time, but the probability of it playing a role, in one instance or another, makes sense. Then again, I'm no zoologist or entomologist--I just study up on what I can when I can :)

    Anyway, since we have ourselves a new thread here, lets turn it into something productive :) If anyone has any shots of 'creepy' insect life feel free to post!
    Since we're currently on the topic of centipedes...

    5457037328_e4f18275f9_z.jpg

    That is a common Stone Centipede, photographed right around 2x life size (to give you some sense of scale). While this species is completely harmless to humans note the appendages just below the head. What began as a pair of forelegs evolved into death dealing forcipules that deliver venom to their prey and, in some cases, a very painful (sometimes life threatening) bite to humans.
     

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  17. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    I think centipedes are one of the few animals that scare me.
     
  18. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    They are the definition of 'creepy crawlers' to many people. All those legs...crawling up your pant leg :D
     
  19. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    I'm fine with millipedes. Something about opening up your underwear drawer and finding a very potent centipede early in the morning turned me against them.
     
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Monitor Picture Thread!!!

    If you beleive strongly enough that something will work. It just might.
     

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