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Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70

Appendix D

Dangerous Insects and Arachnids

Insects are often overlooked as a danger to the survivor. More people in the United States die each year from bee stings, and resulting anaphylactic shock, than from snake bites. A few other insects are venomous enough to kill, but often the greatest danger is the transmission of disease.


 

Scorpion
Scorpionidae order

Description: Dull brown, yellow, or black. Have 7.5- to 20-centimeter long (3- to 8-inch long) lobsterlike pincers and jointed tail usually held over the back. There are 800 species of scorpions.

Habitat: Decaying matter, under debris, logs, and rocks. Feeds at night. Sometimes hides in boots.

Distribution: Worldwide in temperate, arid, and tropical regions.

CAUTION

Scorpions sting with their tails, causing local pain, swelling, possible incapacitation, and death.

 


 

Brown house spider or brown recluse spider
Laxosceles reclusa

Description: Brown to black with obvious "fiddle" on back of head and thorax. Chunky body with long, slim legs 2.5 to 4 centimeters (1 to 1 1/2 inches) long.

Habitat: Under debris, rocks, and logs. In caves and dark places.

Distribution: North America.

 


 

Funnelweb spider
Atrax species (A. robustus, A. formidablis)

Description: Large, brown, bulky spiders. Aggressive when disturbed.

Habitat: Woods, jungles, and brushy areas. Web has a funnel-like opening.

Distribution: Australia. (Other nonvenomous species worldwide.)

 


 

Tarantula
Theraphosidae and Lycosa species

Description: Very large, brown, black, reddish, hairy spiders. Large fangs inflict painful bite.

Habitat: Desert areas, tropics.

Distribution: Americas, southern Europe.

 


 

Widow spider
Latrodectus species

Description: Dark spiders with light red or orange markings on female's abdomen.

Habitat: Under logs, rocks, and debris. In shaded places.

Distribution: Varied species worldwide. Black widow in United States, red widow in Middle East, and brown widow in Australia.

NOTE: Females are the poisonous gender. Red widow in the Middle East is the only spider known to be deadly to man.

 


 

Centipede

Description: Multi-joined body to 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. Dull orange to brown, with black point eyes at the base of the antenna. There are 2,800 species worldwide.

Habitat: Under bark and stones by day. Active at night.

Distribution: Worldwide.

 


 

Bee

Description: Insect with brown or black, hairy bodies. Generally found in colonies. Many build wax combs.

Habitat: Hollow trees, caves, dwellings. Near water in desert areas.

Distribution: Worldwide.

NOTE: Bees have barbed stingers and die after stinging because their venom sac and internal organs are pulled out during the attack.

 


 

Wasps and hornets

Description: Generally smooth-bodied, slender stinging insects. Many nest individually in mud nests or in paper nest colonies. Smooth stinger permits multiple attacks. There are several hundred species worldwide.

Habitat: May be found anywhere in various species.

Distribution: Worldwide.

NOTE: An exception to general appearance is the velvet ant of the southern United States. It is a flightless wasp with red and black alternating velvety bands.

 


 

Tick

Description: Round body from size of pinhead to 2.5 centimeters. Has 8 legs and sucking mouth parts. There are 850 species worldwide.

Habitat: Mainly in forests and grasslands. Also in urban areas and farmlands.

Distribution: Worldwide.




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