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Category: The Enemy

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When a soldier walks into the jungle it is not only the human enemy that he has to beware of. Below are some of the dangerous, even deadly, non-human enemies.

Only female mosquitoes require a blood meal (protein) and bite animals warm or cold blooded and birds. Stimuli that influence biting (blood feeding) include a combination of carbon dioxide, temperature, moisture, smell, colour and movement. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers or other suitable sugar source. Acquiring a blood meal, i.e., protein, is essential for egg production, but mostly both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders. Mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, filariasis, encephalitis and West Nile virus to humans and animals.
Click to enlarge In a leech a small sucker, which contains the mouth, is at the head end; a large sucker is at the posterior end. 

The length of the body ranges from minute to about 20 cm (8 inches). Leeches occur primarily in freshwater and on land. True land leeches feed only on the blood of mammals. 

Three jaws set with sharp teeth make a Y-shaped incision in the flesh. The leech's saliva contains substances that anaesthetize the wound area, dilate the blood vessels to increase blood flow, and prevent the blood from clotting.

Land leeches await their victim in damp vegetation, poising one end in the air. The victim is often unaware that he has been bitten until blood is discovered running from the wound; blood flow may continue because of the anticoagulant still present. Several soldiers have had leeches enter their body through the penis.

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Click to enlarge Scorpions belong to a fairly small order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida. Scorpions are nocturnal and are generally found in the tropics. During the day, most species stay underground in burrows, but some species hang from rocks and branches, or under loose bark. Scorpions live to around 6 or 7 years of age, they are also capable of giving a nasty, and in some species fatal sting.

Scorpions grasp prey with pincers, arch their tails over their bodies, and deliver venom with their stingers. They inject venom from glands located lateral to the tip of the stinger.

Click to enlarge Spiders are common, plentiful and often poisonous all through Asia. Banded Krait Marked with alternate black and pale yellow (sometimes white) cross-bands throughout entire length of body.  Found in coastal regions such as mangrove forests. Grows to 2 metres long and is the largest of the kraits. Nocturnal and feeds on other snakes and lizards. Deadly.
Vipers can be identified by the triangular shape of the head, as seen in this photograph of a Wagler's Pit Viper taken in Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei, Borneo. As with other vipers, this species has haemotoxic venom, meaning it is poisonous to the blood system. The term "pit viper" refers to heat-sensing "pits" which occur on each cheek - these are used to locate prey. This nocturnal species rests high in the trees during daytime and is well camouflaged. Maximum Size : One metre. Poisonous, sometimes fatal.
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Oriental Coral Snake White-lipped Tree Viper Malayan or Blue Krait

Click to enlargeKING Cobra, grows up to 20 feet (6 metres) long. One of the most venomous snakes in Asia

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Forest snake

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Hooded Cobra

All of the snakes above are common all through South East Asia. ALL are poisonous and most are potentially fatal. However the ones pictured here only represent about a third of the dangerous species that exist in the area.

This photo of a scorpion was taken by Andy Mattay of 7RAR


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