Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Business End of the Bullet Ant

Presented for your edification and amusement: The Justin O. Schmidt Pain Index, descriptions of the pain caused by various insect stings. Reads like Wine Spectator, doesn't it?

* 1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
* 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
* 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
* 2.0 Bald-faced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
* 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
* 2.x Honey bee and European hornet: Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.
* 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
* 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
* 4.0 Tarantula hawk: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.
* 4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.

Tarantula Hawk

Found at Information Junk

Bugs of Whidbey Island.

1 comment:

Bunk Strutts said...

One of my earliest memories, pre-kindergarten: I was in the bushes next to our house, pretending to hide from the dinosaurs parading by.

Then something tickled my scalp. Some more things tickled my scalp. Then some things started stinging me.

I learned about paper wasp nests and paper wasps that day.

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