In a single strike, the small-
scaled snake (
inject 60 mg (0.002 oz) of
venom, sufficient to kill a
small marsupial in seconds,
and more than enough to
wipe out several human
adults. It is native to Australia.
So potent is the venom of one particularly dangerous
– a centipede found
mostly in south-east Asia – that human victims have
been reported plunging their bitten hands into boiling
water in order to mask the excruciating pain.
spider venom glands
Each measuring up to 10.2 mm
(0.4 in) long and 2.7 mm (0.1 in)
in diameter, the longest venom
glands of any spider are those
, possibly South
America’s most aggressive species
of spider. Each gland can contain
up to 1.35 mg (0.000044 oz) of
venom, which is sufficient to
kill 225 mice.
Most venomous jellyfish
Flecker’s sea wasp or box jellyfish
) is found off
the coasts of northern Australia.
One jellyfish produces enough
poison to kill 60 humans and is
responsible for one death a year
In 2000, an Australian
lifeguard had a narrow escape
when he drank water from a
bottle containing the near-
transparent tentacles of one
specimen. Even after death,
the creature’s tentacles retain
their life-threatening toxicity
First bee venom therapy
The earliest use of apitherapy (the
pharmacological use of honeybee
products) to treat illnesses was
by the ancient Chinese, Greeks
and Romans. Greek physician
129–200) is said to
have used bee venom to treat
Most dangerous bee
The Africanized honeybee (
) will generally
only attack when provoked, but
is persistent in pursuit. It is very
aggressive and fiercely protective
of territories of up to a half-mile
(0.8-km) radius. Its venom is no more
potent than that of other bees, but
because it attacks in swarms the number
of stings inflicted can kill a victim.
The giant tarantula-hawk wasp (
) is both the largest
wasp and the largest insect of the order Hymenoptera. The
largest known specimen is a female from the Yanachaga-
Chemillén National Park in Peru with a wing-span of 121.5 mm
(4.75 in) and a curved body length of around 62 mm (2.25 in).
Its name is a reference to the wasp’s prey – the Goliath bird-
eating spider and other tarantula species. The wasp grabs the
spider in its jaws, paralyses it with its sting, then drags it to
its nest, lays an egg on its body and seals it into the nest. The
newly hatched wasp larvae feed on the still-living spider.
Most venomous scorpion
The Tunisian fat-tailed scorpion
) is responsible for
80% of stings and 90% of deaths from
scorpion stings in north Africa. It can
reach 10 cm (3.9 in) in length and
weighs up to 15 g (0.5 oz).
flesh contains a neurotoxin and must
be boiled in several changes of water
before it is safe to eat.
; has the
glands of any
spines of its fins
can prove fatal.
sea wasp or box
aches and pains.
Discovered in 2012 on
the island of Sulawesi,
largest digger wasp
to 34 mm (1.3 in)
predator – up
to 2.28 m (7 ft 6 in)
wide and 36.5 m
(120 ft) long – with
a sting potentially
fatal to humans.
or giant mushroom anemone (
); toxic tissues contain unique
paralytic poison that can be fatal to
humans who eat its flesh uncooked.
Of these, about
30 are lethal to