Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rove Beetle aka "Charlie"

I have been delaying this post ever since the day I went into my dorm when I was in SEMESTER 1 , now I'm already in my 5th!

Everyday , we encounter the terror that is "charlie" , every night we had to have war with them , it's crazy , I'm just grateful that I'm out of the dorm , which is like a nest for them ever since I moved out to student houses .I'm sure Jeanny knows just how lovely these little insects are.

From wikipedia:-

The rove beetles are a large family (Staphylinidae) of beetles, primarily distinguished by their short elytra that leave more than half of their abdomens exposed. With over 46,000 species in thousands of genera, the group is the second largest family of beetles after the Curculionidae (the true weevils). It is an ancient group, with fossil rove beetles known from the Triassic, 200 million years ago.

One well-known species is the Devil's coach horse beetle. For some other species, see List of British rove beetles.

The Paederus species, such as the Nairobi fly, contain a potent toxin in their haemolymph which is highly irritating to the skin. Pederin is highly toxic, more potent than cobra venom.The Rove Beetle is less than 1 cm long. The body is dark orange and the tip of the abdomen, the upper abdomen and the head are black. The upper middle iridescent greenish region of the abdomen are the hard wings (elytra). A pair of transparent wings are neatly folded and hidden under the hard wings. During daytime, the beetle will be seen crawling around swiftly with hidden wings resembling ants. When disturbed it raises the abdomen in a threatening gesture like a scorpion and can fly away. It can also run on water swiftly !


The Rove beetle is increasingly common in Malaysia. Their bodies contain the toxin paederin (hence Paederous dermatitis) that causes burns on human skin whenever they are crushed. Interestingly the beetles were used to burn off warts in the past. It starts off with some erythema/redness and then with patches of ulceration where the beetle has been crushed

The haemolymph in the beetle’s entire body (except the wings) contains the most poisonous animal contact toxin in the world called ‘pederin’ (C24 H43 O9 N) named in 1953. It is 12 times more poisonous than cobra venom ! Dried and stored rove beetle for 8 years still retained it’s toxicity ! Contact collision with the beetle while travelling or sleeping, crushing it on the body or smearing with soiled fingers can cause conjunctivitis and severe dermatitis known as dermatitis linearis, paederus (rove beetle /staphylinidae) dermatitis, whiplash dermatitis etc.

Pictures when the insects haemolymph come in contact with your skin ,

I have also experienced this rash , man it was hell , ughhh , I'd rather not remember it back . Usually a scar will be left on your skin once it dries up , there's a product called bio-oil that can smoothen your skin back or rather sinks the scar . Tried it , satisfactory .

Of all the charlies , this has got to be the ones I hate the most !

Over and out


SeReNa said...

now i am scared =s

Lan said...

hahaha , don't worry , I don't think there are any at your place la rena

Syazwann Al-Qwantani said...

hahaha!funny la ko lan,tak sangke aku ko na post pasal binatang ni,but for those who has never been 'kissed' by them,you may do so,and the pictures are only taken after 2-3 days,lan,cube letak gmbar yg kes sminggu punye!haha,much more worse than that,and the most memorable moment is when you take a shower,suddenly you just want to scream like crazyyyy!!and no,it's not a pleasant feeling

Lan said...

kata2 drpd seorang yang penuh pengalaman , hahahhaha , dah berapa kali kiss charlie??? :P

Syazwann Al-Qwantani said...

x terkire,haha!

Jeannette Wong said...

ahhhhh the spawn of evil.

Lan said...

they love u dont they jeanny :P