Any books on HK insects, snakes, frogs... (and plants) that you could recommend?

Hong Kong Hiking Web: 戶外大夫專欄 Outdoor Doctor Forum: Any books on HK insects, snakes, frogs... (and plants) that you could recommend?
   By rain (61.15.70.9) on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 1:16 am:  Edit

I feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes when I barely recognize any of the local insects, snakes and frogs having lived only four years in HK. Especially I don't know to watch for the poisonous ones. I find the nature quite intriguing but I feel so stupid when not having even basic knowledge of HK nature. I like to have some general knowledge, just curious by nature, and enjoy spending time in the country. So can anyone recommend some books? For example I was quite curious about our ‘pet spider’ that we let be for a year before the huge, hairy thingy eventually started getting on my nerve. My friends would just comment when asked that the hairy spiders seldom bite, but I like to put a name to a thing and know a few more details. I went to the book store but could not find a useful book.

As another question to the doctor (though not exactly about hiking), I just wonder if there is some insect in HK that has a bite similar to mosquito bite that might cause allergic reaction. My boyfriend is not allergic to mosquitoes, and our new home luckily doesn’t have any. Once every few months he gets a bad allergic reaction (whole body Urticaria lasting about 4 days), and when thinking about it (trying hard to figure out what it could be but never noticed we ate anything special, did not change the detergent, and he always blames it on the cat that he hates) it seems that a day or two before the last two occasions we all had some itchy insect bites (on legs mostly) and I did not notice mosquitoes. Cat has had it’s flea treatment, so it’s not cat fleas. Too much of detective work possibly… I try to talk him into having allergy test, so that we could at least decide on what to do about the cat. But sometimes I wonder what the invisible insect that lives in our house is, and if it could be the cause of his rash.

   By Outdoor Doctor (Doctor) (219.79.211.4) on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 11:19 pm:  Edit

Your boyfriend should see a doctor and has blood checking. He should go for an allergic skin testing.
Paint, mite, or pollen can be the trigger for whole body urticaria. 50% of the urticaria cases has no identifiable cause.

If you suspect that certain small insects (e.g fleas, mites) make you itchy, you can try some chemical agent killing them. You must take out your cat when using the insecticide.

   By rain (61.15.70.9) on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 1:48 am:  Edit

Thanks. We did use insecticide a few times, but seems we still got some insect bites even after that. Plenty of dust mites around by the way, must be the humidity since we live at the mountainside and it is difficult to get the laundry dry and things get moldy if the aircon is not on.

I try to talk him into having a blood test. Heard that it is more accurate and comfortable than the prick test, and heard that he should also have tests for some organ functions - thyroid, lever... when taking the blood test. He seems not too willing to see a doctor. He went to emergency twice with the problem (before the cat moved in when he lived in the country, so a lot of pollen, insects etc around. Once it was a reaction to spoiled shower gel.) and he said they just gave him a shot and tried to ask him to stay overnight to follow up. He thought it was troublesome and he says that if any tests would be necessary the doctor at the emergency would have already recommended it before. Well, maybe he will agree to mention it to doctor if he has to go otherwise, or maybe he will agree to see a doctor if he happens to be on the mood later (and who said women are moody and difficult, but I guess bad itch and not enough sleep can upset anyone).


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