Poisonous Animals

Banded Sea Snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Banded sea snake Laticauda colubrina Description: Smooth-scaled snake that is a pale shade of blue with black bands. Its oarlike tail provides propulsion in swimming. Characteristics: Most active at night, swimming close to shore and at times entering tide pools. Its venom is a very strong neurotoxin. Its victims are…
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Poisonous Animals

Wagler’s Pit Viper or Temple Viper snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Wagler's pit viper or temple viper Trimeresurus wagleri Description: Green with white crossbands edged with blue or purple. It has two dorsal lines on both sides of its head. Characteristics: It is also known as the temple viper because certain religious cults have placed venomous snakes in their temples. Bites…
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Poisonous Animals

Saw Scaled Viper snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus Description: Color is light buff with shades of brown, dull red, or gray. Its sides have a white or light-colored pattern. Its head usually has two dark stripes that start behind the eye and extend to the rear. Characteristics: A small but extremely dangerous viper. It…
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Poisonous Animals

Sand Viper snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Sand viper Cerastes vipera Description: Usually uniformly very pallid, with three rows of darker brown spots. Characteristics: A very small desert dweller that can bury itself in the sand during the day's heat. It is nocturnal, coming out at night to feed on lizards and small desert rodents. It has…
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Poisonous Animals

Russell’s Viper snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Russell's viper Vipera russellii Description: Light brown body with three rows of dark brown or black splotches bordered with white or yellow extending its entire length. Characteristics: This dangerous species is abundant over its entire range. It is responsible for more human fatalities than any other venomous snake. It is…
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Poisonous Animals

Puff adder snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Puff adder Bitis arietans Description: Yellowish, light brown, or orange with chevron-shaped dark brown or black bars. Characteristics: The puff adder is the second largest of the dangerous vipers. It is one of the most common snakes in Africa. It is largely nocturnal, hunting at night and seeking shelter during…
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Poisonous Animals

Malayan pit viper – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Malayan pit viper Callaselasma rhodostoma Description: Reddish running into pink tinge toward the belly with triangular-shaped, brown markings bordered with light-colored scales. The base of the triangular-shaped markings end at the midline. It has dark brown, arrow-shaped markings on the top and each side of its head. Characteristics: This snake…
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Poisonous Animals

Habu pit viper – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Habu pit viper Trimeresurus flavoviridis Description: Light brown or olive-yellow with black markings and a yellow or greenish-white belly. Characteristics: This snake is responsible for biting many humans, and its bite could be fatal. It is an irritable species ready to defend itself. Its venom is hemotoxic, causing pain and…
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Poisonous Animals

Green tree pit viper snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Green tree pit viper Trimeresurus gramineus Description: Uniform bright or dull green with light yellow on the facial lips. Characteristics: A small arboreal snake of some importance, though not considered a deadly species. It is a dangerous species because most of its bites occur in the head, shoulder, and neck…
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Poisonous Animals

Cobra snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Common cobra or Asiatic cobra Naja naja Description: Usually slate gray to brown overall. The back of the hood may or may not have a pattern. Characteristics: A very common species responsible for many deaths each year. When aroused or threatened, the cobra will lift its head off the ground…
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Poisonous Animals

All about the Coral snake – how to identify, avoid their habitat, and treatment for their bite.

Coral snake Micrurus fulvius Description: The Coral Snake is colorfully marked with rings that are bright blacks, reds, and yellows in color.  Some of the colored bands, particularly the red bands, may be speckled.  Other non-poisonous species have similar colors and markings including the Scarlet Snake and the Milk Snake. …
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Poisonous Animals

Tick – the dangers of tick bites, how to avoid them, and how to treat

Description: Ticks are in the same family as spiders and hence share some characteristics with them ( like spiders, Ticks have eight legs).  They are parasites living on the blood of other animals a practice which makes them vectors (carriers) of several diseases including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted…
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Poisonous Animals

All about wasps and hornets – their habitat, sting, treatment, and how to avoid their bite.

Wasps and hornets Description: The Wasp, or Hornet (also known as Dirt Daubers, Mud Daubers, Potter Wasps, Velvet Ants, Yellowjackets, Fairyflies), is a rather generic suborder of insects.  A Wasp generally a smooth-bodied, slender stinging insects. Like a Bee, Wasps have two pairs of wings, a stinger (only the female…
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Poisonous Animals

All about bees – their habitat, sting, and how to avoid being attacked

Bee Description: Bees are flying insects with brown or black, hairy, fuzz-covered bodies (the hair on their body is used to collect pollen). The bee’s body typically has 3 or 5 dark, black and yellow or orangish, colored hair bands around their body and lack the “thin” abdomen found in…
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Poisonous Animals

All about the Centipede – their habitat, sting, treatment, and how to avoid their bite.

Centipede Description: Centipedes have multi-jointed body, each segment having a pair of legs, growing to 30 centimeters (12 inches) long, with each pair slightly longer than the pair in front of it. Centipedes are typically dull orange, red to brown (species that live underground may have no color pigmentation), with…
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Poisonous Animals

All about the Black Widow Spider or Widow Spider – their habitat, sting, treatment, and how to avoid their bite.

Black Widow spider Latrodectus species Description: Black Widow Spiders are dark, usually black, medium sized spiders with light red or orange markings (typically in the shape of an hourglass) on female's abdomen (underneath the spider’s body).  Black Widow Spiders (or Widow Spiders) have dark, glossy, globular bodies about 1/2 inch…
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Poisonous Animals

Scorpion – how to identify, avoid, and treat scorpion stings.

Scorpion Scorpionidae order Description: Scorpions are dull brown, yellow, or black (the most common is the brown Striped Bark Scorpion).  Their color often camouflages them and makes it difficult to see amongst rocks and dirt.  They have eight legs and distinctive to 20-centimeter long (3- to 8-inch long) lobster-like pincers…
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Poisonous Plants

Strychnine tree – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Strychnine tree Strychnos nux-vomica Logania (Loganiaceae) Family Description: The strychnine tree is a medium-sized evergreen tree with a short, thick crooked trunk, reaching a height of about 12 meters (36 feet).  The wood of the Strychnine tree is white and dense and durable with irregular branches covered with a smooth,…
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Poisonous Plants

Poison hemlock, fool’s parsley – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Poison hemlock, fool's parsley Conium maculatum Parsley (Apiaceae) Family Description: The poison hemlock plant (also known as Beaver Poison, Herb Bennet, Musquash Root, Poison Parsley, Spotted Corobane, and Spotted Hemlock) is a biennial herb that may grow to meters (8 feet) high. The smooth, hollow green stem may or may…
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Poisonous Plants

Pangi – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Pangi or Keluak Pangium edule Pangi Family Description: The Pangi tree, also known as Keluak, Keluwak, or Keypayang, is a tall tree often reaching heights of 18 meters (54 feet).  The tree has large, glossy heart-shaped leaves in spirals each typically with three lobes.  Its large flowers grow in spikes,…
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Poisonous Plants

Oleander – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Oleander Nerium oleander Dogbane (Apocynaceae) Family Description: The poisonous Oleander shrub (or small tree) grows to about 9 meters (27 feet), with alternate, very straight, thick, leathery, dark green, long (2-8 inches), narrow (1 inch), lance-shaped leaves. Leaves typically grow in pairs or whorls of three.  Mature plants have grayish…
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Poisonous Plants

Lantana – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Lantana Lantana camara Vervain (Verbenaceae) Family Description: The poisonous Lantana plant, also known as Spanish Flag, Big Sage, Blacksage, Wild Sage, Prickly Lantana, or West Indian Lantana, is a low erect, shrub-like plant that may grow up to 45 centimeters (18 inches) high. It has opposite, round to oval shaped…
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Poisonous Plants

Chinaberry – how to identify this poisonous plant and diagnose/treat poisoning.

Chinaberry Melia azedarach Mahogany (Meliaceae) Family Description: The poisonous Chinaberry tree (also known as bead-tree, Persian lilac, white cedar, Texas umbrella, pride of India, or Cape lilac) has a round, spreading crown and grows up to 14 meters (42 feet) tall. It has alternate, compound (odd-pinnate) leaves with toothed (serrated…
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Edible Wild Plants

Yam – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Yam (Dioscorea species) These plants are twining, tuberous vines that creep along the ground or occasionally climb trees and other structures. The woody rootstock, or tubers, is pale brown, knotty, and cylindrical in shape.  Stems are reddish-brown and can grow to over 30 feet in length.  They have broad, alternate,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wood sorrel – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Wood sorrel (Oxalis species) There are over 800 species in the Oxalis family.  Wood sorrel (also known as Woodsorrels, Yellow Sorrels, or Pink Sorrels) resembles shamrock or four-leaf clover, with a bell-shaped pink, yellow, or white flower.  The plants can grow up to 15 inches tall.  The leaves are divided…
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