Tasting Pain 1 – 4 On The Schmidt Pain Index….

By  | June 9, 2018 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

Getting stung by a fire ant hurts. Getting stung by a tarantula hawk hurts much, much more. But how much more does it hurt, exactly? And where does something like a honey bee rank on the pain scale?

For decades, answers to questions like these have been found by referencing the Schmidt pain index, a scale first developed and published in 1984 thanks to the self-sacrificing work of entomologist Justin O. Schmidt. The index seeks to rank the painfulness of dozens of Hymenoptera stings across a four-point spectrum.

Here are 10 insects and the sting rating according to the Schmidt pain index with just alittle twist….imagine tasting pain from a sting as though you were tasting a fine wine:


Animal:Sweat bee
Schmidt Index: 1.0
Description: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.


maxresdefaultAnimal: Fire ant
Schmidt Index: 1.2
Description: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.


Acacia Ant (Pseudomyrmex flavicornis) collecting nectar from petiole at the base of Bullhorn Acacia leaf the small, elevated organs known as extra floral nectaries regularly exude drops of fluid rich in sugar and amino acids, Costa Rica

Animal: Bullhorn acacia ant
Schmidt Index: 1.8
Description: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.


Schmidt Index: 2.0
Description: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.


yellowjacketAnimal: Yellowjacket
Schmidt Index: 2.0
Description: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.


Animal: Honey bee and European hornet
Schmidt Index: 2.0
Description: Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.


barbatus17-LAnimal: Red harvester ant
Schmidt Index: 3.0
Description: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.


Paper wasp - Poliste fuscatus sterile female worker

Animal: Paper wasp
Schmidt Index: 3.0
Description: Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.


bKLjugBAnimal: Tarantula hawk
Schmidt Index: 4.0
Description: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.


Schmidt Index: 4.0+
Description: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.

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