Monday, July 11, 2005

ENV: The end results . . .

of critter vs. human interactions . . .

I have, for some time now, been interested in the effects of animal and plant toxins on Homo sapiens. I wrote a number of articles a couple of decades ago (that, while still accurate, lack much of the wonderful information gained through research since) on snake envenonation, and various reactions to invertebrate stings and bites. I served for a while as a consultant on envenonation at the Hospital of the Big Bend, because of its centrality in the big snaky frontier of Trans-Pecos Texas, perhaps one of the leading animal trauma centers of its time.

Well, all that to say that recently i've added to my morbid collection of photos of bites and stings. I once considered that this might be used as an aid in identification of bite sources when those were unknown but generally have given up the idea, simply because of the lack of expertise in identification out there (i once nearly lost an arm because i couldn't convince an ER doctor that i had been bitten by a Black Widow -- a threat of lawsuit later my arm was saved, and the doc got the bill).

Anyway, i've taken pictures recently of a Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortix contortrix), an unknown spider, a Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans), a number of Bedbug (Cimex lectularius) bites, and Fire Ant stings (Solenopsis spp. cf. invicta) and a Halictid bee sting.

Week-after bite (foot) from a
Southern Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix,
stepped on by a twelve-year-old

Seven-year old remnant bite (elbow) from a Black Widow, Latrodectus mactans

Recent and remnant bites (foot) from Fire Ants, Solenopsis cf. invicta

Fresh sting (hand) from an Emerald Bee, Halictid sp.

Fresh bite from a possible Eastern Treehole Mosquito, Aedes (Ochlerotatus) cf. triseriatus
alternately possible ID Western Treehole Mosquito, Aedes (Ochlerotatus) sierrensis

I'll add the others to this post when i relocate them.


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