As a rule, bites and stings in travellers are merely a nuisance. But it is sensible to be informed about the more serious possibilities which can result. Systemic diseases can be transmitted, the skin lesions from insects can be troublesome and finally, some bites and stings can cause envenoming. Thus, the bather may be harmed by venomous fish stings, sea urchins, jellyfish and in Asian-Pacific waters by sea-snakes. Land hazards include bites or stings by scorpions, spiders, ticks, centipedes, bees, wasps, caterpillars and snakes. The main clinical features of such bites and stings, including treatment and prevention, are outlined.