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Injuries sustained when larvae/beetle hunting


LarvaHunter
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Yea, If there was no danger or risks it would be pretty boring. I am going to start wearing long sleeved shirts and gloves when I go to the woods. I don't care about cuts and bruises, but the poison ivy on my hands has prevented me from wearing surgical gloves for over a week. Also I'm wearing boots from now on, my sneaker kept coming off and I got a splinter in my toe but I can't see it but it hurts majorly every step I take.

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I have been stung by all sorts of arthropods, especially scorpions, while collecting insects (among these some were beetle larvae).

But nothing comes close to last year's event - I broke my face, literally, while conducting fieldwork.
You can read about it here if you are interested in the details: http://gilwizen.com/my-nz-ordeal-part-1/

(warning: one of the linked photos in that post is kinda hard to watch)

I wonder if other people have similar stories. For example, I know of many snake species that take refuge in decomposing wood during the dry season, some of which are venomous. It would be interesting to hear if anyone had such an encounter.

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Wow, Wizentrop, that's one heck of a story! Thank goodness for cell phones, rescue teams, helicopters, and emergency medical workers!

 

With all that metal in your head, I'm gonna' hafta' start calling you the bionic man! LOL

 

Cheers!

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True, I was very lucky. And this reminds me of another story (I will probably write a blogpost about it one day) -
Back in 2003 I visited Ecuador. This was my first visit to this country (I visited again since then, and plan another visit next month), and I was very inexperienced in night walking in the jungle. Night walking, as opposed to day walks, is when you really see the forest coming to life.

I decided to search for fire click beetles (Pyrophorus noctilucus) in one of the cloud forests. As usual, I explored the trail by day to learn its difficult parts. But when I went for the walk at night, about halfway into the trail the batteries in my main torch died. Then after 10 more minutes, the batteries in the backup torch died too. I was all alone, in the middle of the jungle, and I could not see a thing. It was a good thing I knew where to go, but the darkness that surrounded me was terrifying. On top of that, when you cannot see anything, the forest noises sound A LOT louder. It is very scary. And if this is not enough, think of all the venomous animals out there: coral snakes, scorpions. Some fern and palm trees have finger-long thorns right at eye level. Not the most friendly environment to be lost in.

The nice thing was, because I had no light I could now see the click beetles better. It was magical. And I discovered that mushrooms and decomposing bacteria can be bioluminescent too - some tree trunks were glowing!

By staying low and walking slow with my arms spread forward using the tiny dying LED I had, I managed to get back to the station, but I will never forget this experience.

The moral of this and the previous stories is - go hiking at night BUT take plenty of light sources, water, a cell phone and tell someone where you are going. Preferably, go with another person (not always possible, but it will keep you safe and you will find more critters this way!)

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hmmm, i missed my ax and almost cracked my finger nail, got chased by wasps ( accidentally broke the nest) but i didnt got stung, got bit by ceruchus (stag beetle), and got stung by some stinging needles ( plant that feels like you are getting poked by needles)

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When i started going to remote places to hunt for beetles i would go with a tshirt, shorts and sneakers. After more and more trips I started adding cargo pants, long sleeves, boots, gloves, etc. All this stuff I use even in the hot florida summer but its better now because it has reduced the amout of injuries i gotten over time. Thankfully nothing too serious yet though like broken bones or major infections or anything else :KNOCK ON WOOD: i think I might just be lucky because at times ive been very irresponsible (mainly when i was younger) and put my life in danger doing what i was doing.

 

I read on the insect net forums that one of the biggest dangers for entomologists in the field was travelling on roads at escpecially at night. And that some have even died from places where the roads were very badly undeveloped or even from a drunk driver. Anyone ever heard of this?

 

With that being said one of my biggest concerns is running into other people in the field. Many places where i collect are also places where other people hunt (for bug and small game). Some are very friendly responsible people but others are some shady individuals. Ive even heard of hunting going on in the distance when hunting season is over and baiting animals on public lands (illegal in FL). I find lots of places with empty beers cans all over the places and alcohol and firearms are ingredients for a disaster. I urge everyone to excersice caution in the field. Use google earth and look up the area youll be hunting in. Know where the property lines begin and end in case there are no fences. Pull some coordinates from google earth of the area you will be and give them to family and friends so they know. And also try to go with at least one friend out there. Stay safe out there guys!

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