An executioner wasp has an excruciating sting, something which is believed to be one of the most painful in the world. If stung, it can leave behind some nasty side effects.
All About the Executioner Wasp
The executioner wasp is one of the largest members of the Vespidae family. This insect measures about one-inch long and has a long yellow body with brown stripes wrapping around. It’s mainly found in Central and South America.
Most executioner wasps live in trees but will also create nests in small corners, especially in home roofs. They are usually non-aggressive and will only sting if taunted.
Before we get into how painful the executioner wasp sting is, we need to learn how we can quantitatively measure it’s sting. Enter the The Schmidt Pain Index, which was developed by Justin Schmidt, an entomologist. He wanted to create a plan that would categorize the hemolytic properties of venom. The pain index begins at 0 and ends at 4.
- Pain Level 1 – The first level leaves behind a slightly irritating side effect, but the sting doesn’t usually cause much of a problem. Some insects with this level include the sweat bee and Western paper wasp.
- Pain Level 2 – The second level is somewhat painful. Schmidt often compared the pain for this level to a migraine. Insects with a sting at this level are the trap-jaw ant and yellow jackets.
- Pain Level 3 – This level has a pretty painful sting that can throb for up to 30 minutes and can leave behind severe inflammation. Insects that have this pain level are the velvet ant, red paper wasp, and the giant bull ant.
- Pain Level 4 – The fourth level is the most agonizing and contains the most painful stings on the Schmidt’s pain index. It was compared to by Schmidt to feeling as if you’re walking over burning coals with a nail in your foot. Insects (like the tarantula hawk) with this type of sting can be relentless while they do so. This pain can last for up to hours.
The current king of the Schmidt Pain Index is the bullet ant.
When a bullet ant strikes, it feels as if you’ve been shot with a bullet, hence its name. Side effects from a bullet ant sting can last for up to 24 hours. Justin Schmidt describe the sting of a bullet ant as like ‘fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.’
However, a YouTuber by the name of Coyote Peterson posted a video where he deliberately stung himself with an executioner wasp. After many minutes of screaming, yelling, rolling on the ground and writhing in pain, he proclaimed the executioner wasp as the the most painful sting he has ever experienced and even more painful than that of the bullet ant and the tarantula hawk. He went on and described the sting of the executioner wasp as ‘flesh being peeled back.’
What Makes the Executioner Wasp Sting So Painful?
The executioner wasp’s sting is so painful because of the venom it pushes into your skin. Most of the time, this insect’s venom will contain a high amount of histamines, mast-cell degranulation proteins, and norepinephrines. All of these combined together end up causing necrosis which kills cells around living tissues.
What Other Animals Have Painful Stings?
- Black Widow Spiders
The black widow spider is known for its solid black body that’s marked with a single red dot. Most of the time, people don’t realize when they’re bit by this insect because it feels like a pinprick. About two hours after the bite, symptoms will start to appear. The venom of a black widow spider mainly affects the nervous system so side effects will include headaches, chills,
tremors, chest pain, and restlessness.
- Gila Monsters
This poisonous lizard might be a slow, but they have a nasty bite. If you awaken the wrath of a Gila monster, they will bite onto you and keep this grip for several seconds. They do this as a way to ensure enough venom has been released. At first, the area might be a little irritated, but this will slowly grow into a very painful problem. If bitten by a Gila monster, you might experience nausea, a fever, and even high blood pressure.
- Arizona Bark Scorpion
Found mainly in the Sonoran Desert, the Arizona bark scorpion is one of the most venomous scorpions in North America. To sting, the scorpion will whip its tail around until it emits venom into one’s flesh. This will leave behind intense tingling and even cause vomiting, but these symptoms will slowly disappear after one to two days.
The platypus might look like a docile creature, but it surprisingly has a painful sting. As one of the only mammals in the world with venom, a platypus will stick its hind legs into your skin. The hind legs have small spikes on the end of them that release venom when injected. The venom isn’t usually deadly, but can cause pain and circulation issues around the affected area.
- Golden Poison Frog
Despite its small size, the golden poison frog’s venom can be enough to kill a human. In fact, its small body holds up to 1,900 micrograms of poisonous venom. If bitten by this amphibian, its toxins will start to destroy your nerves, something which can lead to heart failure.
The stonefish is one of the most venomous fish in the world. If stung, the area where it happened will start to quickly swell and inflammation will start to travel around your arms or legs. If not treated immediately, this sting could prove fatal.
While not an aggressive insect, if you unleash the fury of an executioner wasp, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise. Its sting is ranked one of the most painful in the world due to its unique venom and severe side effects.
Related: Coyote Peterson gets stung by a bullet ant