Hi, in need of urgent identification
Location:  Penang, Malaysia
August 29, 2010 4:37 am
Hi, this bug has been causing havoc over here in the northern region of Malaysia, particularly in Perlis and Penang. Please help me identify it mr bugman 🙂
Kelvim, the pharmacist

Paederus Rove Beetle: Cari-Cari

Hi Kelvim,
Your insect is a Rove Beetle in the genus Paederus and merely handling it or having it walk across a person’s body is enough to result in a severe case of contact dermatitis.  Our first several letters regarding the Paederus Rove Beetles came from Africa where its warning coloration and unique defense system have earned it the local name of Creechie Bug. While doing additional research for our response to you, we found a website called DOCFILES with many photos of the Paederus Rove Beetle and the resulting contact dermatitis, and the page begins with this information:  “The Rove beetle that is increasingly common in Malaysia. Their bodies contain the toxin paederin (hence Paederous dermatitis) that causes burns on human skin whenever they are crushed. Interestingly the beetles were used to burn off warts in the past. It starts off with some erythema/redness and then with patches of ulceration where the beetle has been crushed.
There are numerous comments posted regarding remedies for the contact dermatitis posted to the site. It is quite interesting to us that the image you provided appears to be a very degraded version of the exact image on the DOCFILES page.  We are also intrigued by the title of the digital file you supplied for us to identify.  What is the origin of the name Cari-Cari?  Is that a local name for the Paederus Rove Beetle?

Dear Daniel,
I am delighted at the prompt response and information you have
given me. This will indeed aid me in treating and informing my
customers. The file name was typed in by myself, as the locals call it
“cari-cari” (in the malay dialect they like to repeat words as names
i.e. orang-orang, ubur-ubur).
Regarding the photo file of the rove beetle found in DOCFILES, it
IS extremely similar with the file I sent you. However, after close
examination using the superimpose technique in photoshop, i found that
they ARE different. Besides, the background is different too. This is
the add from where i got the photo
If you DO happen to come by any different treatment options or
ways to control the spread of this bug, please do let me know.
Thanks a million for what you have provided me! 🙂

Sorry for some “misinformation”
The word “cari-cari” is actually a malaysianised pronunciation of
“charlie”. Don’t ask me why charlie, but the locals also call it semut

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