Don’t be alarmed, but Scotland Island and Pittwater are home to some troublesome and sometimes dangerous insects, reptiles and marine life. The pages in this section will give you detailed and helpful information about avoiding, and dealing with some of the bites and stings that you may encounter in the area.
Spiders on the island are many and varied: most are non-toxic. Funnel-web spiders have highly toxic and fast acting venom. They burrow in moist, cool, sheltered places — under rocks, rotting logs, crevices and holes in rough-barked trees.
Snakes are mostly defensive by nature and are unlikely to approach humans unless disturbed. The red bellied black snake, common in Pittwater, is highly venomous and there are recorded deaths from bites.
Stingrays flick their tails when disturbed and cause cuts from their venomous barbs. These bottom-dwelling marine animals are common in the shallow inshore waters around Scotland Island.
Bluebottles are not a single animal but a colony of four kinds of highly modified and interdependent individuals (polyps) concerned with catching and digesting food and reproduction. They are connected and supported by a float.
Leeches are blood sucking worms that lives in damp places and become attached people and animals. After biting the host they feed for up to two hours, consuming between two and ten times their own weight before releasing their grip.
Mosquitoes are blood sucking insects that are responsible for the transmission of many diseases throughout the human and animal populations of the world. Through their persistent biting, mosquitoes can cause major disruptions to occupational, recreational and social activities.
Ticks are blood-sucking external parasites that attack people and pets. The most common tick in Pittwater is the Australian ‘paralysis tick’ (Ixodes holocyclus).