Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70
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.
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
Scorpions sting with their tails, causing local pain,
swelling, possible incapacitation, and death.
Brown house spider or brown recluse spider
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
Distribution: North America.
Atrax species (A. robustus, A. formidablis)
Description: Large, brown, bulky spiders. Aggressive when
Habitat: Woods, jungles, and brushy areas. Web has a
Distribution: Australia. (Other nonvenomous species
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.
Description: Dark spiders with light red or orange markings on
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.
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.
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
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
Habitat: May be found anywhere in various species.
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.
Description: Round body from size of pinhead to 2.5
centimeters. Has 8 legs and sucking mouth parts. There are 850 species
Habitat: Mainly in forests and grasslands. Also in urban areas
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