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Posted by WW on March 14, 2003 at 04:57:37:
In Reply to: Re: PPS posted by BGF on March 13, 2003 at 14:43:42:
Just to keep a good argument going, I'll do the devil's advocate thing a bit more... ;-p
:Listing based off of clinical danger is pretty much was I was saying when having two definitions: technically venomous [ones that have venom glands, this is of course most colubrids] vs. practically venoms [ones that are likely to actually cause an envenomation, a much shorter list but no doubt one that is missing species]. Its a pretty tough area with no clear cut solutions.
:At the end of the day, I think its inappropriate to consider H. gigas as 'venomous' with venomous meaning the same for it as well as an elapid. Thats a bit extreme. However, ones like Psammophis certainly should be considered venomous, with the same use of the word as for elapids.
And yet.... I am not aware of *any* clinical cases of Psammophis bites resulting in the severity of symptoms seen in that Hydrodynastes bite in the pet store worker (including collapse with extensive paralysis - that's pretty severe by anyone's standards), admittedly after a particularly prolonged bite. Psammophis are common snakes throughout Africa and the Middle East, so there must be a fair few encounters and bites.
Local symptoms approaching those of a mild viper bite (i.e., entire limbs swollen, erythema, pain) are certainly not all that rare after Hydrodynastes bites - while I would be surprised to hear of a fatality, this species is not a million miles behind something like a Sistrurus miliarius, even though the percentage of dry bites is obviously vastly higher in the FWC.
This is one case where it looks like pharmacological evidence may be at odds with clinical experience.
:What I'm concerned about is legislators taking a blanket approach where they ban venomous and anything that remotely falls under that definition is also banned. This is a very real possibility.
Too right - and it's not an easy one to crack, particularly when one knows that somewhere out there are almost certainly some more potentially deadly colubrids, but nobody knows which they will turn out to be, or who will be the first to find out.......
The biggest problem with any of the legislation is that it normally falls into the all-or-nothing category - if one were tolist the FWC, it would be subject to the same regulation as a black mamba, if one does not, then it canbe sold like a corn snake. Smart legislation would be an itnermediate class for things like mangoves, FWCs etc, where they may not be sold to minors, and only with a written health warning, but not banned or heavily regulated like elapids or viperids. Now let's try to find a smart legislator....
Hmmmm..... was that a pig I just saw flying by my office window?