Test Your Knowledge: Poisonous Bugs and Spiders Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Test Your Knowledge: Poisonous Bugs and Spiders Quiz
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Many people don’t like regular bugs and spiders all that much, so the poison-sporting kinds are a hard pass, thankyouverymuch. While most of us know that we want to steer clear of them, it’s not uncommon for people to misunderstand the very real difference between “poisonous” and “venomous.” Venomous creatures are the kind that bite, sting or otherwise pierce your person to do their damage. Poisonous creatures contain poison, but they don’t do the attacking -- for someone to come in contact with the offensive poison they’d have to touch or bite into them.

Poisonous or venomous creatures don’t exactly corner the market on creepy, however. There once was an insect called the “griffinfly,” which was basically a giant ancient dragonfly that boasted a wingspan of up to 2.5 feet (0.8 meters). Fortunately, they exited stage left long before humans burst on the scene, otherwise the bug spray industry would have really had its work cut out for it. One bad boy you do have to watch out for today (if you’re in New Zealand, anyway), is the “giant weta,” which can weigh more than a pound, and is described as “a cricket-like beast.”

These guys keep good company because by some estimates, there are 10 quintillion insects on the planet, and many are venomous. And although the vast majority of spiders are the do-no-harm variety, there are still plenty of the dangerous sort. Australia alone sports 50 to 100 species of venomous bad boys! Now that you’re sufficiently creeped out, take this quiz and test your knowledge about the poisonous/venomous creepy-crawlies of the world!

The bullet ant is primarily known for what?
Its excruciating sting.
Some people say it hurts more than being shot by a gun.
being very fast
Its huge jaws.

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Why do some people call bullet ants the "24-hour ant?"
They only mate for 24 hours in their short lives.
The pain of a sting lasts a whole day.
By some estimates, one sting by these ants might hurt as much as 30 by other insects, such as wasps.
You're at risk of dying for up to a day after being stung by one.

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Where is the Katipo spider found?
Mali
Austria
New Zealand
It's a cousin of the black widow and reactions to its poison can be severe.

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In warm environments, how large can Scolopendra centipedes grow?
6 inches
8 inches
12 inches
The foot-long bugs are indeed poisonous, but they don't often kill people.

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What sort of bug is Parabuthus transvaalicus?
spider
scorpion
It's an African scorpion that can sting or spray its venom.
ant

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About how many people have Africanized honey bees killed?
100
1000
These bees are insanely aggressive and can swarm creatures as large as horses.
10000

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How do venomous centipedes inject their poison?
through a stinger
through jaws
through modified forelegs
Centipedes are carnivorous creatures … and there are more than 8,000 species.

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How far can Japanese Giant hornets fly in a single day?
at least 50 miles
They are powerful and poisonous creatures.
at least 10 miles
at least 5 miles

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What is one way a Japanese Giant hornet can attack you?
bite your lip
wedge itself into your ear
spray venom into your eyes
And the chemical cocktail is an alarm to other hornets, calling them to attack you as well.

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Where might you find poisonous funnel-web spiders?
Australia
A feared species of this spider is often found within 60 or so miles of Sydney.
Peru
Morocco

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The venom of Sydney funnel-web spiders is especially poisonous to which animals?
dogs
fish
primates
Yes, that includes humans; these spiders are among the most dangerous you can encounter.

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When provoked into attacking, how do Sydney funnel-web spiders respond?
attack the aggressor's face
grab on and bite repeatedly
Male spiders of this species tend to have more potent venom, and they will bite multiple times.
bite and run

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How many different species of fire ants are there in the world?
about 280
They are not only venomous, but they are also aggressive and attack in groups.
about 170
about 90

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Why is Paratriatoma hirsuta called the "kissing bug?"
They make an odd kissing sound.
They bite people on the lip.
Sometimes they infect people with trypanosomal Chagas disease, which can kill.
They kiss during mating rituals.

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What percentage of redback spider bites actually contain venom?
about 15%
The spider typically conserves its venom, meaning you have a good chance of experiencing no real side effects from an otherwise toxic spider.
about 30%
about 60%

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Where do brown recluse spiders tend to live?
in undisturbed locations
These poisonous spiders are typically found in the western and southern U.S.
in the desert
in the forest

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Compared to black widows, how poisonous is the venom of the brown widow spider?
half as poisonous
twice as poisonous
Fortunately, this tiny spider rarely bites, and when it does it injects very little venom.
four times as poisonous

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What kind of bug is the deathstalker?
wasp
centipede
scorpion
This Middle Eastern scorpion is thought to be the world's most dangerous.

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How long is the stinger on the female tarantula hawk?
1/4 inch
It is considered one of the top two most painful insect stings in the world.
1/3 inch
1/2 inch

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How long does the worst of the pain from a tarantula hawk last?
about three days
about three hours
about three minutes
But that may be the longest three minutes of your life.

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Brazilian wandering spiders are also known as what?
coconut spiders
mango spiders
banana spiders
They're often found hanging out on banana leaves and are known as one of the deadliest spiders around.

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How big are giant Japanese hornets, the largest hornets in the world?
two inches
These fearless insects have stings that can cause severe allergic reactions.
three inches
four inches

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About many people die each year after being attacked by giant Japanese hornets?
about 40
The sting is also incredibly painful, making these encounters more than a little scary.
about 100
about 300

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What do Brazilian wandering spiders do when confronted?
jump straight up
raise their front legs
The aggressive stance is enough to inspire arachnophobia in just about anyone.
scurry towards the attacker

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Which state voted the tarantula hawk as its official insect?
Arizona
New Mexico
The insect's blue-black body and rust-colored wings give it an ominous appearance.
Nevada

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How many insects in the world have a sting pain rating of four or higher?
22
18
four
If you're stung by any of them, the poison may leave you writhing on the ground in pain.

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Which of the following is NOT one of the insects with the most painful sting on the pain scale?
tarantula hawk
giant Japanese hornet
brown recluse spider
Recluse bites definitely hurt, but they don't rate at the top of the scale.

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To what size do deathstalker scorpions grow?
2.5 inches
These small scorpions are most dangerous to the very young, old and ill.
3.5 inches
5.5 inches

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Annually, about how many people go to U.S. emergency rooms due to black widow spider bites?
roughly 25
roughly 250
roughly 2,500
The poison can cause scary reactions but these spiders rarely cause serious harm.

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How far might Africanized honey bees chase humans?
1/4 mile
Better have a car handy; their aggressiveness means they don't give up the chase easily.
1 mile
1.5 miles

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You Got:
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