Monday, May 17, 2010

Centipedes on the Prowl

Often when watering our vegetables or applying effluent from the catfish tank I encounter a centipede or two emerging from heads of the cabbages. They usually scurry over the heads, pausing every now and then to let the water shower over them.

One such centipede made such an appearance while I happened to have the camera handy. Check him out.

Fact is, I'm a bit skittish when it comes to centipedes, especially the 6-10 inch (15-30 cm) giants of northern Thailand. They're known to inflict a terribly painful bite that can result in massive swelling or worse. Some time ago my friend Jamlong was laid up for days by the bite of one of these giants.

Fortunately, my cabbage-dwelling centipedes are much smaller; 3 inches most. Another friend, Scott, doesn't think the small ones bite very hard (not that I'm aiming to find out).

Since I encounter them on the cabbages and under the litchi leaf garden bed mulch, I'm assuming they're on the prowl for insects and worms; hopefully the looper caterpillars that chew holes in the cabbage leaves.

So for the sake of our veggies, when it comes to smaller garden centipedes, I'm willing to live and let live.

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