The figures are clear: with some 800,000 deaths per year, the mosquito is the deadliest animal for humans. It is thus well ahead of the snake (100,000 deaths) or the dog (35,000 deaths). For comparison, this insect kills more humans in 24 hours than the shark in 100 years.
There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world. Among them is the dreaded (and dreaded) tiger mosquito. It can indeed be a vector of viruses such as chikungunya, Zika or dengue fever.
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Bedbugs are a suborder of insects characterized by a mouth apparatus allowing them to bite and suck the blood of their victim. There are 90 families, comprising more than 45,000 species, such as the bedbug, very unpleasant, but without real danger to health.
But some species of bedbugs are much more dangerous. This is particularly the case of Triatoma protracta, which feeds on the blood of its sleeping victim from the lips, eyelids and ears. In addition to this unsavory aspect, they can be the vectors of serious diseases, such as Chagas disease, which kills around 10,000 people each year.
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Special mention to the bugs, which have inherited the nickname “murderous bug”. An entire program !
The bullet ant
Living in the rainforests of South America, Paraponera clavata something to be scared of! Also nicknamed the “bullet ant”, its bites are incredibly painful…comparable to a gunshot wound. The insect, which measures up to 2.5 cm, produces a venom containing a neurotoxic and paralyzing peptide called “poneratoxin”, the effects of which can last up to 24 hours. In some Amazonian communities, the transition to adulthood is made by dipping your hand into a glove filled with these famous ants.
The black Widow
Its name alone is enough to arouse fear… Araneomorph spider from the family of Theridiidae, the American black widow is found in the United States and Mexico. Very small, 15 mm for females and between 7 to 9 mm for males, the black widow is no less formidable, it is one of the most dangerous spiders. Its latrotoxin-containing venom is extremely toxic, causing neurological symptoms that can lead to death if left untreated. A very simple way to recognize it? Black in color, it has a red spot in the shape of an hourglass on the abdomen.
The tsetse fly
Who has never heard of the tsetse fly? Originally from Africa, this particularly dangerous insect bites its victims and feeds on their blood. Problem, some flies are contaminated by parasites of the genus Trypanosoma, responsible for human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness. When they attack a human, they can therefore transmit the disease to them.
This disease is present exclusively in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with approximately one thousand new cases per year. Without treatment, death is inevitable: the parasite spreads in the central nervous system, and causes major sleep problems and mental problems.
The Lonomia Obliqua caterpillar
The Lonomia Obliqua caterpillar is the larval form of a large South American butterfly. Particularly formidable, it measures about 5 cm and is covered with stinging hairs. But above all, this caterpillar produces a very toxic venom. The protein it contains has powerful blood-thinning agents, causing internal bleeding, or gangrene. As a result, many people died, especially in Brazil.
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Don’t be fooled by its friendly name, the banana spider is far from a friendly creature. Originally from South America, it is mainly found in banana plantations. Of good size, it measures up to 10 cm in diameter. Its neurotoxic venom is very dangerous and can lead to death.
Among the symptoms caused by the bite of Phoneutria will do : a very long and painful erection. Brazilian scientists from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) have studied this particularity. They managed to create a gel made from this venom and intended to help men suffering from erectile problems.
The killer bee
Also called Africanized bee, the killer bee is a hybrid species created in Brazil. It results from the crossing between European bees (Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera iberiensis) and African bees (Apis mellifera scutellata).
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If its appearance is in all respects identical to that of a “classic” bee, its aggressiveness is greatly increased. The killer bee can thus pursue its victims for several kilometres.
If you have spider phobia, the Atrax robustus, a species endemic to Australia, may give you cold sweats. This 5 to 7 cm hairless tarantula is very present in Sydney and its surroundings. Adventurous, she does not hesitate to enter homes, especially when the weather is stormy. Impressive when she stands on her hind legs and shows off her fangs, Atrax robustus can be very aggressive. Its powerful venom is very painful and can be fatal in weakened people or children. A very effective anti-venom has been developed, but it must be administered within an hour of being bitten. tarantula Atrax robustus is considered one of Australia’s most dangerous animals.
The magnan ant
Originally from Africa, the magnan ant, also called the army ant of the genus Dorylus, is renowned for the power of its bites, which are very painful. Blind, these insects do not let go once they have caught their prey. And it is this faculty that certain populations use, such as the Maasai. In order to close their wound, they catch soldier ants, make them bite the wound, then tear off their bodies. A colony of these moving ants is considered dangerous for humans, they who do not hesitate to attack prey much larger than themselves.
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