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Re: Venom similar to a timber rattlesnake???


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Posted by Trust on September 06, 2002 at 09:44:52:

In Reply to: Venom similar to a timber rattlesnake??? posted by tj on September 06, 2002 at 08:58:59:

Glenn, J. L., L. W. Porras, R. D. Nohavec, and R. C. Straight. 1992. Analysis of the Duvernoy's gland and oral secretions of Hydrodynastes gigas (Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril) (Reptilia: Serpentes). Pp. 19-26. In P. D. Strimple (editor), Contributions in Herpetology. Greater Cincinnati Herpetological Society, Cincinnati, OH, 111 pp. Describe venom apparatus; assay both venom Duvernoy's gland, saliva - chromatography, electrophoresis, toxicity, proteolytic activity; find both secretions toxic; urge caution.

Manning, B., M. Galbo, and G. Klapman. 1999. First report of a symptomatic South American false water cobra envenomation. Journal of Toxicology Clinical Toxicology 37(5):613 (abstract). Report prolonged bite, Hydrodynastes gigas, pet store employee, California - hospitalized with "significant local swelling, pain, muscle paralysis, and arrhythmias."

Mackessy, S. P. 1998. Isolation and partial amino acid sequence of a novel metalloprotease from the venom of the colubrid snake Hydrodynastes gigas (false water cobra). Toxicon 36(9):1250 (abstract). Notes bites "produce severe edema, tissue necrosis and pain"; describes enzymatic properties venom; reports partial characterization caseinolytic metalloprotease.

Scott, N. 1997. Personal communication to: R. E. Hill and S. P. Mackessy. 2000. Characterization of venom (Duvernoy's secretion) from twelve species of colubrid snakes and partial sequence of four venom proteins. Toxicon 38(12):1663-1687. Reports bite Hydrodynastes gigas, Paraguay - localized bleeding, pain, inflammation, yellow discoloration, etc., resolved by seven days.

I believe it is the first paper I listed that compares the venom with c. atrox, but I can't remember if it claimed similarity in venom content, or similarity in LD50 (or both). It did note that the amount produced by hydrodynastes is far far less. Regardless, from the above referenced papers, one can see why it is best to avoid being bitten by a FWC. Patrick has some info on his webpage about this paper that is worth reading:

http://hometown.aol.com/patrickv16/gigas2.html (A big thanks to Patrick for this)

I myself haven't read these papers, although I would if I knew how to get them. The important thing to me, though, is that these papers exist, and their implications regarding hydrodynastes.

Yes, they are placid snakes, in general, and tolerate handling well, but STAY AWAY FROM THE BITEY END WHILE FEEDING!! lol You should be alright otherwise. I'd love to see an 8 foot specimen!


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