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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Impression Of Centipede Deposit

Scutigera coleoptrata* tends to scuttle away as soon as it sees you, and that must have been the case with the centipede that lived for many months behind the trim of my kitchen counter. I did not see it, I did not know what it was, but I knew something was there. Every morning I would find a miniscule brownish blob of bug deposit in the precise spot on my kitchen counter where I make my morning coffee. Ugh. I grew to hate that bug. I was tired of cleaning up after it the first thing every morning. Occasionally I marveled at its regularity, one bug deposit each morning. When it missed a day, I speculated, was I rid of it? But no, and it continued to keep its hideout clean by depositing on my kitchen counter. I worried that it would find a mate, and I would be driven to insecticide to counter hordes of creepy-crawlies. Not yet.

Then one day I found my unwelcome houseguest had been murdered by little red ants, many of whom also lay on the battlefield of my kitchen counter, strewn dead around and on top of the venomous centipede. So I pitied the creature, lying there dead with its long, slender, tan body scissored by the sharp little jaws of ants, all fifteen pairs of its fragile legs mangled. But it would never run out and deposit on my counter again.

* “Most house centipedes are nocturnal, and prey primarily on flies, spiders, and sometimes plant tissue.”

Caption: Impression Of Centipede Deposit by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.

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