Warning Signs of Poisonous Insects


(Modern Survival.org) – Which is a warning sign that an insect might be poisonous to eat?

• Looks slimy

• Smells bad

• Bright colored

• Loud chirping

Answer: Bright colored. Here’s why…

In dire survival situations, people are often forced to take actions that would normally be out of the question. For example, when starvation is becoming a real threat, alternative food sources — such as bugs — begin to look mighty appetizing. It is important to note that not all bugs are safe to consume, as many species are, in fact, poisonous.

Before chowing down a fistful of insects, it’s a good idea to know the warning signs that one of them could be poisonous.

Aposematic Coloration

Aposematic mechanisms is the scientific term for how a poisonous or dangerous creature shows the world that it is not the critter to mess with. The most common of these mechanisms is bright coloration. For example, hornets are yellow and black, and poison dart frogs come in a variety of bright colors.

These colors are effective because predators recognize them as warning signs. The repercussions of eating or interacting with creatures displaying those colors are unpleasant, to say the least.

These bright colors are often found in combinations, such as yellow and black, white and black, red and black, or orange and black. This doesn’t necessarily mean the insect or animal is poisonous. In fact, bright colors could be an indication that it is venomous, as is the case with lionfish and the blue-ringed octopus.

In a survival situation, the best rule of thumb is to avoid interacting with or eating any creature that is brightly colored. Getting stung by a venomous insect or eating a poisonous bug will quickly transform a dangerous situation into a potentially fatal one.

Knowing how to find food in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster, or even when lost in the woods, is vital to survival. To see some common mistakes made when foraging for food that could be deadly, check out this article.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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