Baja’s Best Bites...
(…and we don’t mean restaurant reviews.) Some of Baja’s coolest creatures are well worth getting to know, but don’t get too close – these critters are sporting nature’s meanest defenses and an encounter could send you to hospital.
- Black Widow Spider This pea-sized black spider packs a potent (though rarely fatal) punch. Look for the crimson hourglass on the underside of the abdomen for positive ID.
- Portuguese Man O’ War Also known as agua mala (bad water), these jellyfish are stunningly pretty, but their bright-blue tentacles can sting long after the animal is dead. Don’t pick one up on the beach, and minimize risk when participating in water sports by wearing a full-body rash guard or wetsuit.
- Scorpion Glowing under UV light, Baja’s scorpions sting, especially if stepped on. Shake your shoes in the morning, use netting at night and look before you sleep.
- Stingrays Painfully common in the shallows of many popular beaches, the stingray usually flicks its tail and stabs heels or ankles with a poisonous barb. Minimize risk at beaches by wearing surf booties.
Whether you think they’re cool or creepy, these are creatures that will rarely cause you harm if they are left alone. For more information, track down a copy of Steven Foster’s book A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants.