Let's please begin with the understanding that I have already sought and received professional medical advice. Also, about two weeks have passed, my heart and lungs still work and nothing has turned black and fallen off, so I seem to be in the clear.

With that said, I have encountered some critter, which had some venom. It seems this critter was in a particularly generous mood, as it decided to share some of its venom with me. It did so quite anonymously as I never felt a thing. In doing so, it left a gorgeous and intriguing example of abstract artwork. I have looked up and found photos of bite marks for a variety of spider types, and even some wasps and ants. None of them look even similar to my colorful example. I am curious as to whom I should express my gratitude for this artwork, and wonder whether this community can assist.

bite mark location Location: back of leg behind knee

These photos were taken about two days after the mark was first discovered. I would describe the mark as a yellow-green circle about 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in) in diameter, surrounded by a purple-black ring of 0.5 cm (0.2 in) width, and a further patch of less distinct yellowish coloration for another 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2 in). The central yellow-green portion had a hard mass underneath the skin. An additional small patch of yellowish appeared farther up the leg, about 15 cm (6 in) from the main mark. There was never any pain associated, but there was intense itching.

The date-time window for receiving this bite was the morning of June 4 until the evening of June 5 when the mark was discovered. My location during the window for getting this bite was the general Dayton-Cincinnati area in southwest Ohio, USA. My activities during the window included small boat sailing* at a nearby lake, and then housework** at home.

bite mark close-up bite mark

*Sailing includes: ready boat on trailer, pack Jeep, drive to lake, rig boat, launch boat at ramp, paddle out, try to find wind, drift, hey there's some wind, wheee! Where'd the wind go? drift, paddle back, recover boat at ramp, un-rig boat, drive home, unpack Jeep, sleep.

** Housework includes: dusting, laundry, dishes, vacuum, scrub sinks.

  • Related meta: meta.outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/811/9109
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 17:04
  • Just to clarify: The total diameter of this was 3 to 4 inches? That is huge!
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 18:57
  • @ab2 - The central mark was about 1 inch diameter, but yes, there was some faint discoloration extending up to 2 inches from the center.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:04
  • 6
    I assume you considered the possibility of having simply a mark from some physical impact: when you hit yourself, you get that purple mark, which then turns into many other colors. Sometimes hitting some object is absolutely unnoticed, you just see the mark on your body days later. What makes you think that it is an insect bite? The itching only?
    – Akabelle
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 7:46
  • 2
    I wonder the same thing as @Akabelle. even leaning against a cleat or pulley on a sail boat the wrong way or for long enough could leave such a mark.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Your bite/sting mark is missing something very essential in order to qualify it as a bite or sting mark, and that is: a mark from a bite or a sting. Had something bit you or stung you, then you would be able to see a little hole or pincer mark in the middle of that very colourful bruise you have.

Coincidence of all coincidences, I lived in Miamisburg for a summer, and got mysteriously bit by something venomous while knocking doors out there around Dayton. Only it didn't turn purple or green, it turned orange, puffed up and blistered, but still had a very obvious bite mark in the middle of it. I then started getting itchy orange puffy spots all over my body because the venom had poisoned my blood, a very disturbing experience all around, I suspect it was a spider, but got no confirmation on exactly what.

Point is, venom doesn't turn your skin those colours. I've been stung by wasps and bitten by ants too, they don't look like a bruise, and they always puff up.

  • 1
    I agree. That's no bite. Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 1:39

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