And so we pass from the philosophical to the … Eeewwwgh!

This is Scutigera coleoptrata.

Wikipedia tells me Scutigera is endemic to the Mediterranean, which is theoretically where we live (though the idea that a place like Ferrara is in the Mediterranean is likely to cause cognitive dissonance— it’s sort of like saying America is a democracy); and that they prefer your home to other potential places of abode. (Hence the vernacular name, the “house centipede.”)

More to the point, one evening one of them came to live in our house. I’m sure there are dogs in the neighborhood that are still recovering their hearing after the screeching that went on here, but eventually we pulled together enough testosterone to coax la Scutigera into a bottle and release her into the garden.

Whereupon I’m quite sure she made her way back into the house as fast as her fifteen pairs of legs could carry her. (Fifteen!) It is told on many a website that Scutigera is not only harmless to humans but beneficial because it voraciously hunts down and eats other insects. I’m all for the eating of other insects, particularly if they’re the little flies that always seem to light on the TV screen right in the middle of Gray’s Anatomy, but honey. There are limits.

Plus there’s all this talk about a bite that’s “no more painful than a bee sting,” which is apparently the entomological equivalent of “tastes like chicken.” I don’t know about you, but I find that bee stings frickin’ hurt, and if it’s all the same to folks, I’d prefer not to be bitten by a critter that looks like something on the X-Files or else the inside of Rudy Giuliani’s brain.

In other words, that was that last catch-and-release. Next comes the hitting with the rolled up magazines and the crushing and the oozing of bodily fluids and the dying. And I’m OK with that.


Posted on 4 April 2008, in Tales from the Road, Write ... che ti passa. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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