Hawaii man snags foot-long venomous centipede

Associated Press

Hilo, Hawaii — 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.

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.”