Hawaii man snags foot-long venomous centipede, preserves it

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A Big Island resident has a centipede that’s more than 1 foot long (30 centimeters long) on display at his home.
Retired taxidermist Clayton Cambra spotted the 14.5-inch (37-centimeter) insect in woods behind his home and decided to capture it with a bucket, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday.
Cambra said the venomous arthropod stood up “like a cobra” when he captured it.
“Standin’ right up. It’s creepy,” Cambra said. “He crawled out of that bucket four or five times before I got him here.”
He got the centipede inside a plastic bag and froze it in his freezer.

File photo, courtesy of Erik Wilde from Berkeley, CA, USA

Erik Wilde from Berkeley, CA, USA

Cambra then thawed the centipede, pinned it to a Styrofoam board and injected it with formaldehyde.
“It’s a monster. Even when it was dead, I was nervous touchin’ it,” Cambra said.
Dan Rubinoff, an entomologist and director of the University of Hawaii Insect Museum, said he thinks the bug is a Vietnamese centipede.
“It’s definitely got to be the largest individual I’ve ever seen of it,” Rubinoff said. “I get ’em in my yard all the time, 6 to maybe 7 inches. Definitely, I’ve never seen one that big.”
Rubinoff said there are other species in Southeast Asia that grow even larger.
“Those are really frightening,” Rubinoff said.
Cambra said he rejected a $1,000 offer for the centipede.
“I don’t want to sell it,” Cambra said. “I want to keep it. People collect all kinds of things. I know people on the computer (who) collect these alive and keep ’em as pets.”
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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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