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University Professor Discovers Rare Venomous Centipede In UK Toilet

Rare venomous centipede found in UK professor's toilet sparks climate change concerns

A university professor was shocked to find an extremely rare venomous centipede in his toilet.


Dr. Richard Jones was cleaning when he spotted the mini-monster at his home in Upton, near Newark-on-Trent, Notts. He urged people to be aware of their surroundings and to report any unexpected discoveries.


The history associate professor managed to take pictures of the centipede after he stumbled across it on Jan. 11. He emailed the photos to experts and the British Myriapod and Isopod Group confirmed it was a Scutigera coleoptrata – a species rarely seen in the UK.


Commonly known as the House Centipede, their bite is non-fatal to humans and is similar to a bee sting. They have large bulbous eyes and long legs making it the fastest-moving centipede in the world. It uses its front legs to lasso its prey and inject them with venom using its fangs.


Their bite has been compared to a bee sting and is fortunately not fatal to humans.


The species is indigenous to the Mediterranean and has spread through Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Despite this, it remains extremely rare in the UK and there have been fewer than 50 confirmed sightings since 1883. However, that number is rising with 10 new verified sightings of the distinctive bug last year.


According to experts, one reason that is allowing this Mediterranean animal to migrate north and possibly form permanent colonies is climate change. They also contend that the increase in reported sightings is due to AI making it simpler to identify plants and animals in photos taken with mobile devices.


Dr. Jones, Associate Professor of Landscape History in the Centre for Regional and Local History at Leicester University said the sighting has been added to the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s national database.

“I really encourage people to keep an eye out for the unusual and report their findings. There are some brilliant experts out there willing to help and confirm identifications,”said Dr. Jones.


“Encounters such as this are a reminder that we should expect the unexpected as the world warms. This centipede has brought that home to me, literally,” he added.


Dr. Jones said the centipede remains “at large” at his home where he is taking the opportunity to study its behavior.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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