Articles

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Scorpion Antivenom

September 10, 2020
In partnership with Lowveld Venom Suppliers and myself, Jonathan Leeming, we participated in an insert for 50/ 50 focusing upon the production of scorpion antivenom and it's use. This program was filmed at the Lowveld Venom Suppliers laboratory in Hazyview and White River, and features Chris Hobkirk, the Lowveld Venom Suppliers Team and myself.
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Kowie Museum Ant-Ticks 2019

January 17, 2020
Jonathan Leeming was invited as the guest speaker at the Kowie Museum in Port Alfred for a day of insects, arthropods and conservation. It was a chance to inspire and educate the next generation of conservationists and underpin the importance of insects in the greater scheme of things.
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Scorpions Of Southern Africa 2019 Revision

February 21, 2019
Thoughts on writing Scorpions of Southern Africa, lessons learned along the way, the 2019 revision and the future... The first edition of Scorpions Of Southern African was published in 2003. It was a learning experience that brought me to where I am today. My 2019 revision of Scorpions of Southern Africa is not out. In […]
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The Truth About Spiderbites In Southern Africa

October 26, 2018
The subject of spiderbite is a rabbit warren of hoax emails, misinformation, misconceptions and ignorance. It's almost impossible to identify a lesion or wound as being caused by a spiderbite, and at the same time, it's is equally impossible to say that a spider was not involved. Common sense says that unless you watch the […]
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Scorpions of Debshan Ranch, Zimbabwe

October 15, 2018
Debshan Ranch is a 45,000 hectare cattle ranch located about 100km north of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The below quick guide is a result of the Debshan Ranch scorpion survey held between April and March 2018. Debshan Ranch is part of the Diamond Route properties. This project was funded and supported by Oppenheimer Generations. Download this quick […]
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Should We Be Afraid?

March 1, 2018
Venomous animals have been a symbol of evil and death ever since the dawn of mankind. If mankind can control an aspect of nature it becomes our slave for use and abuse as we see fit. However, if we cannot control an aspect of nature, it becomes an object to be persecuted and feared. The […]
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Is it dangerous?

February 28, 2018
There is a common question that is asked when discussing snakes and their medical importance - How dangerous is it? Traditionally authors have attached danger ratings to venomous animals in an attempt to indicate the consequences of being bitten or stung, however, all that danger ratings convey is a superficial understanding of how we interact […]
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Found A Small Scorpion in Gauteng

February 18, 2018
There is a small reddish-brown scorpion that commonly enters houses in Gauteng (and Bloemfontein, Kuruman, Bethulie and other major centres) which has causes a lot of drama for no reason at all. This scorpion is called Pseudolychas ochraceus and is unusual because it thrives in the urban environment. Their natural habitat is riverine valleys and […]
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Argument From Ignorance

January 31, 2018
Although we as humans consider ourselves as superior beings, we suffer from several flaws of the human mind. These flaws propagate sightings of the Yeti, Elvis, the Loch Ness monster and occurrences spider bites. Argument from ignorance is not a unique feature of the easily fooled, but a a phenomenon that occurs in every culture […]
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Camel Spiders In Iraq

January 31, 2018
First reported in 2004, the email reports the venomosity of Camel Spiders (Solifugids) and includes a couple of photos. Subject: Camel Spiders From someone stationed in Baghdad. He was recently bitten by a camel spider which was hiding in his sleeping bag. I thought you’d like to see what a camel spider looks like. It’ll […]
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Natures Arms Race

January 15, 2018
The question of why some animals are venomous is a very good one. Why would an animal possess venom so potent, that it could kill a human being, yet it has no intention of eating us? It all comes down to Natures arms race. The answer lies in the millions of years of evolutionary pressure […]
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Violin Spider Bite On Hand

January 1, 2018
There is an email that has spread throughout the world. There are many different variants, but the images and general contents are the same. It’s responsible for some of the Violin Spider mass hysteria. It shows the hand of a “Violin Spider bite victim”, together with a photo of a Violin Spider. The following email […]
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Factors Influencing Symptom Severity

January 1, 2018
Envenomation from venomous creatures is influenced by several factors. These factors should be taken into consideration when assessing the potential severity of the expected symptoms. Strength of venom. Amount of venom injected (number of bites or stings). Location of the bite or sting. Age of patient. Body mass of patient. Pre-existing medical condition of patient, […]
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Measuring Venom Toxicity

January 1, 2018
Have you ever noticed that everyone has their own opinions of how venomous an animal is? When we watch TV, we see programs such as the 10 Most Deadly Animals In The World, or Snakes Of Death... and they list different animals in their top 10 most venomous? That's because measuring toxicity is not as […]
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