For more data on this, commenter Alex has this tip:
Here's a scientific paper [pdf format] on the centipedes in question.
Apparently they're the biggest centipedes in the world: about a foot long (300mm). "Scolopendrid centipedes prey on frogs and toads up to 95 mm long, small lizards, snakes up to 247 mm long, birds up to the size of a sparrow, and both field and house mice." The bats are described as weighing about 17 grams and having forearms about 56mm long. And the cave where all this takes place is appropriately named "Cueva Del Guano."
Other commenters at AOSHQ shared various bug stories and tales, in particular army stories:
In Okinawa, there is a small waterfall called hiji taki (hiji falls) and to get there you have to walk about 2 miles up and down this long path of wooden stairs and paths. While we were climbing a particularly tall stand of stairs, those of us with girlfriends, decided to be "manly" and cary our girlfriends on our backs on the way up the stairs.
Near the top of the stairs, a VERY LARGE had to be at least 9"'s or so centipede popped out, and was on my boot, I kicked the Centipede off, without incident, but my girlfriend FREAKED THE F*CK OUT! throwing herself off of my back, and breaking one of the handrails on the stairs. (not break away, just split and weaken kinda break.) Took All the way to the falls for her to calm down, she got some leafy branches and swept the area that we "picnic'd"/Camped, and would freak out every 10 or 15 minutes, looking for the next monster centipede that is 1/1000th her size to come out of nowhere and kill her.
I thought it was cute, my friend lou, kept, tickling the girls ankles with his fingernails to scare the shit out of them. One thing about japanese girls? When they are pissed? they are quiet, when they are scared? They screach like f*cking banshee's.
Best long weekend I had in Okinawa.
Also, I think that THAT is why Centipedes have 1-3 HD of HP [a D&D reference], even though they are rated as first level monsters.
I have been bit on the ass by one of those basturds, while crawling around under a deck I was assembling. I thought it was a sliver as the sharp poke right in glutius medius. I discovered the rest of the story during my monthly shower. Or should I say I discovered the rest of the body with a death gripped jaw attached to my fat ass. Checked out the boxers and what do we have here. Smaller than Jeffs scale but bigger than an armadillos was two halves of a Mukade/centipede.(Wondered what they called them) I called it something else. Nice black knot under the skin for many months, but now I got the anti-venom basturds.
The local inhabitants freak out when they see these f*ckers scurrying along. Never grab a sticky multi-footed universal joint with choppers, especially poisonous ones.
Someday, I'll tell y'all about the bees and from there for you younger ones, the birds.
-by Forest Hunter
Forest - doesn't Japan have those giant hornets? Seems like I saw something on National Geographic, or maybe the Discovery Channel - they looked like something out of Toho Studios from the mid-Fifties.
-by Master Tang
Every rack out on a beach with a japanese girlfriend?
In the morning, there are a lot of small bugs that are looking for the left overs from the high tide trying to eat them during low tide, and Shino and Sa, would always RUN! to the car, or too the tent if we fell asleep on the beach after a "long night." in early morning, cuz they couldn't handle being out in the elements.
Watch a japanese girl set up a camping spot. She isn't setting up a tent (the guys do that) she isn't setting up a tarp for eating (the guys do that) they are walking continuously from one end to the other, trying to get all of the sand off of the f*cking beach it seems.
HILARIOUS, at least from the perspective of a Marine or an Army guy who is only a couple weeks out of basic, and field, and tech training. I remember shino finding a tire on the beach, and rolling it up to the f*cking road, so that it would get picked up next time (never) the locals drove by.
It's a sensory invasion for Americans, is Okinawa, at least to those Americans that take part in the culture of Okinawa.
Another Bug story I experienced while I was in OKI.
the Cicada's (I don't know the spelling, the big ass bugs, that look like flies, sound like low flying Corsair airplanes) surfaced when I was there in '97.
We were all standing in formation, and I was trying to make a good impression to the new 1Sgt, so I was starched so stiff I had no choice but to stand upright. There was an indifferent Marine who was a friend of mine, who's name I will bastardize at this moment standing in front of me. He was the image of a Marine, he was perfect in his record, a STUD! in his build, kinda like a body builder, and his uniform was perfect.
I kept hearing a sound, (I had yet to see a cycaida (spelling?) at this time) and we were being "pre inspected" by the 1st Sgt. the bug flew over another friends shoulder (his name was yeti (actually eric, but we called him yeti)) and he jumped like a bitch while in formation. I stood still, and then I saw this GIANT BLACK CREATURE WITH WINGS, sounding like helicopter preparing for a crash landing flew in my own direction.
The bug (cycaida) didn't land on me, but it landed on the F*CKING BILL! of the "board Marine" standing in front of me. The bug crawled along the bill for a few seconds, and all the while, I didn't say anything, but in my mind I was thinking "GET OFF OF HIM YOU VILE CREATURE, GET AWAY! YOU HURT MY FRIEND I KILL YOU!!!! SON OF A BITCH!" (MATT!!! that was his first name, I forget his last)
A GIANT F*CKING FLY walked along the brim of his cover, and he didn't even flinch! The bug walked along his bill and then took off, and he didn't violate the position of attention.
After the word "dismissed" he fucking FLIPPED OUT!! "is it on me!?!?! is it on me?!?!?" F*CKING HILARIOUS! and once again completely true.
If you ever experienced cycaida's, they weigh about the same as "superballs," and to have one land on you or fly into you, is a physical experience, and that guy? Not one f*cking flinch. He should have been commissioned on site.
A Big Bad Marine, removed his "blouse" and begged the rest of his platoon for help while he was terrified of a cicayda (spelling) and 34 of us were more than happy to help him, cuz that bug freaked us all the f*ck out.
Cracks me up watchin the Josans on sand duty and I mean duty, as in mission and never ever stop searching the surface for wayward flecks.
I was cleaning up around a perimeter of a house when I disturbed the entrance to that mother of all hornets house, House hell, condo bigger than a medicine ball. Rank and file boiled from a hatch big enough to fit a golf ball, as I raked away the debris under this Hydrenga bush. Like a rope they poured out into an attack pattern and stayed in formation!(Velly Japanese of them I thought) My fovial vision stayed on them as I back peddled and caught sight of my open windowed truck. F*ck! Front hatch on my love nest also secure and so down the hill, spinning, bobbing and weaving, all the while beating the air into submission with a garden rake. An occasional "Tang!", as contact with one or two close enough to my improvised rotor met Allah.
Pursuit does not adequately describe these demon bugs. I am standing about 60 meters from where we began this dizzying journey. I did more do si do's than an entire night at a square dancing contest! Mother f*ckeen demons from hell you will pay tonight with your lives and your children's. I will eat your babies and like it!
I prepped a fire and damn near ran out of grass to feed it but as the bugs flew into the flame, wings melted and bees on knees were everywhere.
Next morning an inspection revealed a serious gut pile of dead bugs and no lookouts. Cool!
So after you have opened the nest, you pluck the still wiggling, yet a nice smoky color larvae, out from there cribs. Once the 2 liter bottle is full, report to the galley where cooksan has hot pan, shoyu and rice waiting to provide the mornings culinary
delight. About 10-20 seconds in shoyu, mix rice together for your brand new stir fry dish. Yummy goodness!
-by Forest Hunter
I apologize for the language in some of these posts, but military guys are often wont to slip into the vernacular. Swear a lot, in other words, and it wouldn't be the same authentic feel if I edited too much.