Some poisonous creatures in Thailand

  A few little creatures not really smiling....

In Thailand, it is much more dangerous to travel by scooter than to walk in the wild. This country being a tropical country, you have to expect from time to time to make unexpected encounters... of course, as always, the unknown tends to be frightening. So let's try to do a little tour of these most common bugs, the ones closest to us... and what to do, how to do in case of meeting or contact...

There are not that many of them...

ON EARTH

  The Scolopendres (Scolopendra heros)

In Thai: ta kaap (ตะขาบ)

We often find this bug in the gardens, on a terrace... at the limit, if you leave your shoes outside, you can find one in one of them...

A bite is very painful and can lead to serious infections. Get medical help as soon as possible! 

Size: to 20cm


  The Scorpions

In Thai: meleang pong (แมลงป่อง) ou meang pong

Scorpions in Thailand are poisonous, but comparable to the sting of a bee or wasp. 

The bite is painful but harmless, however some people may develop an allergic reaction. The bite must therefore be immediately disinfected.

Size: <10cm
Colour: from grey to black

The scorpion is often paralyzed by fear in case of encounter, and it is very easy to catch it by the tail, with the hand or a stick. Finally, they are not very dangerous but they do sting if you walk on them without realizing it. 

  Spiders 

Bird Spider Cyriopagopus lividus 

Spiders in Thailand are poisonous, but the venom is so mild that it is comparable to the sting of a bee or wasp. The bite is painful but harmless, however some people may develop an allergic reaction. The bite must therefore be immediately disinfected.

Size: to 10cm

Risk: Harmless

Thailand has a wide variety of spiders but few of them bite human beings. Bites are not fatal (except for allergic reactions) and are very well treated in hospitals. Symptoms following a bite range from muscle cramps to breathing difficulties. 

Most Siamese spiders considered dangerous are found in rural areas, especially in forests. If you are in a risk area, remember to check your shoes before putting them on and shake your clothes before putting them on.


  Les Gecko Tokay

The Gecko is a reptile that belongs to the family of "Gekkonidae".

The term "Gecko" includes about 830 species of lizards.

This reptile is very common throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to Thailand, it is found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, southern China, the Philippines and Indonesia. It has also been introduced in the United States and Martinique.

The name "Gecko" comes from the Malay word "Gekoq" which is an onomatopoeia corresponding to the cry of an Indonesian Gecko.

Gecko Tokay is nocturnal or twilight. This species generally lives between 10 and 20 years old, which is enormous for an animal of this size.

It is rather massive, with a large head and a powerful jaw, and can measure up to 35 cm for larger specimens. Its pupil forms a thin vertical slit that widens at night to become almost circular, like that of cats and vipers.

Its colours vary according to its mood, but it is generally bluish grey with regularly spaced white and red dots, and outgrowths. Males have femoral pores (small dots) in the shape of a "V" above the cloaca. They are more colourful and imposing than females. The base of the male's tail is wider due to the presence of 2 hemipenis.

Like most congeners of its species, Tokaji has widened snowshoeing fingers. However, the animal has the particularity of having setae: they are microscopic hairs located under its legs, which offer great adhesion power on smooth, vertical supports. From then on, it can move on ceilings.

  • MORE THAN 830 SPECIES RECORDED

The Gecko is a reptile that belongs to the family of "Gekkonidae".

The term "Gecko" includes about 830 species of lizards.

This reptile is very common throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to Thailand, it is found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, southern China, the Philippines and Indonesia. It has also been introduced in the United States and Martinique.

The name "Gecko" comes from the Malay word "Gekoq" which is an onomatopoeia corresponding to the cry of an Indonesian Gecko.
Gecko Tokay is nocturnal or twilight. This species generally lives between 10 and 20 years old, which is enormous for an animal of this size.

It is rather massive, with a large head and a powerful jaw, and can measure up to 35 cm for larger specimens. Its pupil forms a thin vertical slit that widens at night to become almost circular, like that of cats and vipers.
Its colours vary according to its mood, but it is generally bluish grey with regularly spaced white and red dots, and outgrowths. Males have femoral pores (small dots) in the shape of a "V" above the cloaca. They are more colourful and imposing than females. The base of the male's tail is wider due to the presence of 2 hemipenis.

AN OUTSTANDING HUNTER

The lizard frequents the tropical forest, it is arboricultural, but also insectivore and carnivorous. It is often found in or outside homes, it prowls around lamps, having understood that this light attracts insects. The Tokaj hunts on the lookout.
His regular menu therefore consists of insects, but he does not hesitate to attack young snakes, chicks, and even small mammals (such as mice) or small reptiles (including, occasionally, his own species). He crawls towards his prey, then leaps on it, and grabs it with his mouth.

There, he never lets go of his victim, banging his head against the ground until he was knocked out. All she has to do now is shred it with her sharp little teeth. But if the prey remains motionless, it has every chance of surviving. Indeed, the Tokaj does not distinguish fixed shapes, its excellent view only detects movements. They only feed on live prey, and are also highly valued because they eat harmful insects.

Tokay is very territorial, if you catch one and release it a few kilometers away, you are very likely to see it return after a while. In general, only one specimen is found in a house or sometimes a couple, it does not support its congeners well as is often the case with reptiles.

  • A RECOGNIZABLE SCREAM

The Gecko Tokay has no movable eyelids. His eye is covered by a welded and fixed eyelid. She protects him and to clean his eyes, he uses his tongue.

The reptile has the amazing ability to emit vocalizations, sometimes even very loud. The Geckos family is the only one among lizards that produces sounds. Indeed, their larynx is equipped with vocal cords. Tokaj is known for its shrill screams. His cry is used to warn potential intruders of his presence. As strange as it may sound, it is said that the Gecko barks.

Only the male is endowed with "speech". It makes strange cries, sometimes reminiscent of a bark, sometimes of the song of a cicada or the croaking of a frog.

The Tokaj has 3 distinctly different shouts:

  • A cry of call
  • A cry of distress
  • A cry associated with the breeding period

Its call call is reminiscent of the two syllables "To-kay", hence its name. You can hear her scream from over 100 metres away.

This Gecko has powerful jaws, if you try to catch him he can bite you with force and his bite is painful. The Gecko Tokay is famous for its bites.

The Tokaj, in case of danger, can abandon its tail to the enemy. It comes off easily and continues to stir for a while. This diversion allows the reptile to escape. A new tail, less flexible, grows back quite quickly.

HAPPY HOLDER

In some Asian countries, particularly Thailand and Malaysia, the Gecko Tokay is considered sacred, and would bring good luck. For example, it is perceived as a beneficial animal. His presence in a house is a positive sign. If he moves to a newly built house, the residents conclude that it is a sign of prosperity. And if he screams 7 times in a row, the chance will certainly smile on you!

However, in the Kingdom of Siam, there is a superstition that says: "Do not leave your house if you hear a Tokay screaming."
It's nighttime. You are about to leave your home to spend a beautiful evening with friends. Suddenly, you hear a Tokaj scream so recognizable. Stop right there! Don't leave your house! The animal warns you that something bad may happen to you.

Unless the lizard is suspicious of you and what you're about to do....

IN AIR

  The Mosquitoes

In Thai: young (ยุง)


The mosquito develops from an aquatic larva before metamorphosing to its adult phase in the air.

The aquatic larval phase helps to explain the high presence of mosquitoes near rivers, ponds and marshes.

In most mosquito species, the larvae feed on microscopic plankton algae; rare species have a predatory larva that feeds on other insect larvae.

Once adult, the mosquito feeds exclusively on nectar from various flowers. Contrary to popular belief, it does not feed on blood.

Mosquito bites are carried out only by a fertilized female, and are not intended for feeding, but for maturing eggs before laying.
It should be noted that some rare species of mosquitoes do not need blood for maturation, and therefore do not bite.

A wide variety of behaviours can be observed depending on the species. Some will attack humans, others cattle, birds or reptiles.
It is often said that mosquitoes bite only at night, in fact there are daytime species, other nocturnal or twilight species.

The idea that mosquitoes only bite at night probably comes from the fact that the most widespread species in Europe belong to the genera Culex and Aedes, which have nocturnal mores.

Diseases transmitted by mosquito bites
The mosquito is the vector of serious diseases, the main ones are:
  • malaria

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquito bites.

It occurs in Thailand only in very limited areas, forests and borders.

The vast majority of the country, composed of plains and rice fields, is preserved.
In malaria-affected areas, there is a risk of transmission only at night.

See also:
Malaria in Thailand, should you take an antimalarial treatment?
Artemisia Annua, a natural antimalarial treatment

  • Dengue

Dengue fever is an endemic disease in Thailand.

A dengue fever epidemic is currently raging throughout the country, particularly in the north and centre.

The disease is spread by the bite of a mosquito that is active during the day, so the usual protective measures (long clothing, mosquito repellent products for use on the skin and clothing, electric diffusers) should be followed.

As dengue fever can take a potentially serious form, it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor in case of fever (taking aspirin is not recommended).

There is a natural way to heal yourself see our articles:

Dengue fever can be treated with papaya leaf juice!

Papaya and its fruit papaya, use and medicinal property


  • Chikungunya

Viral disease transmitted by the bites of Aedes mosquitoes that bites during the day.

It is responsible for a high fever accompanied by severe joint pain (in Swahili: chikungunya= "walking bent over").

There is no vaccination or specific treatment.
However, a doctor must be consulted.

Only protective measures against mosquito bites can protect the traveller.
Papaya leaf juice could help according to a Mauritian herbalist, see link above.

  • Japanese Eencephaltitis

This disease, which only exists in Asia, is transmitted by mosquitoes in rural areas.
Fortunately, very few cases are reported in Thailand, but the risk is present.

The Japanese encephalitis virus is transmitted by the bite of the mosquito Culex tritaenioriorhynchusa, a mosquito that only bites in the evening (at nightfall and all night).

Her bite is painful and therefore does not go unnoticed.

Cities are generally spared and transmission of the disease is highest in rural areas where mosquitoes abound, especially during rainy or monsoon periods.

  • zika

It is the "fashionable" disease, very mediatized, but Zika has existed for years in Thailand and generally only causes the symptoms of a small flu.

We must be careful with the alarming figures given by the press, making the difference, for example, between pregnant women who "would be contaminated" by the Zika virus and those very rare, who give birth to a microcephalic baby because of the zika.

To date, the only country that has experienced an incredible increase in microcephaly that would be "due auzika" is Brazil.
The cases of microcephalitis discovered in the USA and Europe come from people who have contracted the disease in South America, but the media strangely refrain from saying which South American country it is, but since there was only one affected country, Brazil, it is very likely that these cases also come from there.

And the areas where there has been a very high number of microcephalus, according to Brazilian doctors, are areas where an insecticide has been added to tap water.

But according to the WHO, this is a coincidence, because this insecticide, which is to my knowledge the only insecticide given to drink to an entire population, is harmless.

The WHO, which introduced this insecticide into the daily drinking water of these Brazilians, says that pyriproxyfen only blocks the development of mosquito larvae, not human fetuses....

IN THE SEA

  Jellyfish

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A JELLYFISH BITE ?

The first thing you need to do is "wash the affected area with hot water or seawater for 30 seconds to prevent venom from entering the bloodstream. »

Contact with his jellyfish causes acute pain and severe redness, then swelling and blisters. If you are a victim, wash the wounds immediately with salt water - or even better with vinegar water. But especially not with fresh water or even alcohol. It would make the pain worse. 

It is the monsoon season in Thailand, which is why these creatures appear on the beach. The island's rescuers are prepared for the actions to be taken if you are stung.

Otherwise, spread sand on the skin and after about 10-15 minutes scratch gently (e. g. credit card). Shaving foam has also proven its worth in cleaning a jellyfish bite. Then, it is necessary to cool the affected area with ice and eventually go to the hospital.

In theory, except for allergies or other health problems leading to complications, jellyfish bites are not life-threatening. In weakened people or people with allergies, however, the danger is real and can lead to allergic shock, which requires immediate treatment in a hospital.


  The Box Jellyfish

The Thai Ministry of Marine warned against jellyfish attacks after a highly toxic species was found off Koh Phi Phi Phi in Krabi province.

Cubomedosa is not common in Thai waters. Jellyfish are known for their powerful venom. Vinegar is the best solution to reduce the pain caused by a jellyfish before the victim is sent to hospital.

Water should not be used, as it increases pain, and green plants often found near beaches would also have calming effects.

The cubomedosa is a very dangerous species of invertebrates.

Well named with a cube shaped body structure and long dragging tentacles, several species of jellyfish box are extremely poisonous, including Carukia barnesi, Malo kingi and Chironex Fleckeri.

The Cubomeduse is capable of speeds of up to 1.5 to 2 metres per second, or about 4 knots (7.4 km / h, 4.6 mi / h), which is faster than most humans who can swim. The average human sprint speed is 1.64 metres per second.

Its body structure is also complex: it has a well-designed nervous system that allows it to move quickly, a structure similar to that of a brain, and twenty-four eyes that can detect the difference between light and darkness.

Unlike most jellyfish, the Cubomeduse is skilled enough to navigate around obstacles and swim quickly to a desired location. It can grow to 10 feet in length, due to its long tentacles, and can weigh up to 4.5 pounds.


  Dragonfish (Pterois Volitans)


Habitat: In coastal areas, mainly in coral reefs.

This specimen can be found near corals and on rocky coasts.

Divers and snorkellers should be particularly careful.

This fish is very aggressive. A sting from one of its needles causes immediate and extreme pain, and the infected area begins to swell immediately!


  Stone Fish (Synanceia Verrucosa)


The Stone Fish (Synanceia verrucosa), is the most poisonous fish in the world. It lives in the shallow warm waters of the seas of the Indo-Pacific region. Stomach and stocky, it measures up to 45 cm, and is often found on corals, rocks or buried in the sand. It feeds on small fish and shrimp by opening its mouth at lightning speed (another record!). Its skin secretes mucus that can attach algae, coral debris or sand, allowing it to blend into its environment.

A strange fish that makes the swimmer's misfortune

This particularity, combined with almost total immobility, makes this fish a master of camouflage! It also has a formidable defense system: 13 erectile spines, from 3 to 5 cm, connected to venom glands as well as venomous spines on the pelvic and anal fins. This venom, very powerful, remains toxic 48 hours after the death of the fish, the latter being able to survive 24 hours out of the water.

Generally, the victims are swimmers who set foot on the animal. Hand poisonings are rarer (fish inadvertently touched, picked up out of curiosity...). The venom is expelled when the thorn penetrates the victim's skin.


  Sea Cobra, The Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda Clubrina)


Among marine snakes, the fatal dose of venom from sea cobra (Laticauda colubrina), also known as common striped knitwear, is 1.5 mg. As the reptile produces 10 to 15 mg of venom, each bite can kill up to ten people, making it potentially one of the deadliest creatures in the world.

Sea snakes are also called flat-tailed snakes. Indeed, adaptation to marine life is manifested by the lateral flattening of the tail.

This feature makes swimming easier.

The nostrils and the rostral notch are closed by special devices.

The lungs are very elongated and provide a large air reserve for prolonged immersion.

These snakes are part of the subfamily Hydrophiinae. They feed almost exclusively on fish.

These snakes have a more toxic venom than terrestrial species, but they only bite humans in exceptional cases.

The sea cobra can measure a maximum of 1.50 m and has a light blue colour with black stripes.
Its distribution is quite wide: New Guinea, Pacific Islands, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Fortunately for most swimmers and divers, it is not very aggressive, and its hooks are placed far back.

Striped knitwear spends most of its time roaming the seabed and under the cracks of coral, in search of eels and other small fish. Most of the human victims are fishermen, bitten as they disentangle snakes from their nets or sort their catches.

Laticauda colubrina spends a lot of time underwater, surfacing only briefly to breathe. He goes ashore to digest his food, moult, mate and lay eggs.

On land, it also ensures its thermoregulation.

It is the only oviparous Hydrophiina. Before mating, thousands of individuals gather on sandy islets in winter. Females lay their eggs in the wet sand in summer.


  Other (very common) animals to avoid

Il y a un certain nombre de bestioles qui peuvent occasionner un certain danger:

There are a number of bugs that can cause some danger:

  • Dogs: some can carry particularly dangerous diseases such as rabies. Few vaccinated dogs are available, and many are often wandering.... which can cause scooter accidents along the roads. 
  • Ants: some species are very aggressive. They bite and throw acid jets causing serious injuries to the affected body tissues. Especially very small ants that can be found in a garden, very very very 
  • Monkeys: they can be aggressive and sometimes also carry contagious diseases. Avoid approaching them, they tend to be "thieves": sunglasses, cameras...
  • Poisonous caterpillars: some caterpillars are able to inoculate you with a very powerful venom that will cause you serious discomfort. So be careful not to touch them!