Insects at IIT Kanpur

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Insects at IIT Kanpur


The Blister beetle

The Blister Beetle ([1])

These creatures secrete a fluid containing Cantharidin, a compound much more toxic than potassium cyanide. Ingesting 10 mg of it will kill a human being, and beetles typically contain 0.5-1 mg each. If these get onto your skin and are then disturbed, they'll "bleed" the fluid from their joints onto you, causing painful blisters to appear later on.

The Rove beetle

These contain a potent vesicant in their haemolymph which can produce a skin irritation called Paederus dermatitis. The irritant pederin is highly toxic, more potent than cobra venom. If one of these gets on to your skin, don't brush it away harshly or slap it as doing so will release the haemolymph onto your skin which will subsequently cause painful rashes and scars.


Belostomatidae ([])

Also known as giant water bugs, these large insects have a powerful bite and saliva with flesh dissolving enzymes. A bite from one of these is extremely painful, orders of magnitude more than a bee or wasp sting. Also, the damaged tissue around the area of the bite is susceptible to further infection and might become gangrenous. Stay well away from them.

The Mosquito

Well known to carry dengue and malaria, although the ones in IIT Kanpur do not seem to in general. Nevertheless, it's best to take the usual precautions against them.

The Honey bee

Painful sting, and if you get attacked by a swarm, a hundred times more painful. Plus, if you're allergic to them, you could go into Anaphylaxis and die. Don't be unfortunate.

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