Aquatic and Land Animal Diversity

Aquatic and Land Arthropods

What arthropods can affect humans (in the United States)?

Many arthropods can affect humans, especially in terms of unhealthy bites, itches, scratches, diseases, and allergies. The following lists only a few of these creatures that live in various spots in the United States:


Effect on Human Health

Black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans)

Venomous bite; most in South

Brown recluse or violin spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

Venomous bite

Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda)

Venomous bite; most in South and Western states

Chiggers (Trombiculid mites)

Dermatitis; most in South

Itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei)


Deer tick (Ixodes dammini)

Bite can transmit lyme disease

Dog tick, wood tick (Dermacentor species)

Bite can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in some places in the U.S.


Bite can transmit diseases (for example, West Nile virus, encephalitis, filarial worms)

Horseflies, deerflies

Female has painful bite


Many transmit bacteria and viruses



Bees, wasps, ants

Venomous stings (single stings not dangerous unless person is allergic)


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