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10 creatures that deliver the most painful stings and bites

By: Bryan Nelson on July 25, 2011, 10:40 a.m.
Tarantula hawk sipping nectar

Photo: Elizabeth A.Cummings/Shutterstock

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Tarantula hawk

These humongous wasps are voracious. (The name is derived from their habit of hunting tarantulas, if that's any clue.) Because tarantulas are not easy prey, tarantula hawks are equipped with a powerful venom that is reputed to create one of the most painful stings in the insect world. In fact, according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index — a pain scale rating the relative pain caused by some insect stings — the tarantula hawk rates as the second most painful sting ever measured.