Reef venomous-dangerous critters

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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;-) Everyone, Hi LeslieS

Yesterday...hmmm...a few hours ago to be more exact...:tongue1:, I browsed some excellent threads here in the forum and came across this excellent Tank Girl (
1 2 3 ... Last Page) thread by LeslieS. As I browsed through it a came across page 6, post n? 58 where I found this picture, of Snowball I believe




which I believe to be of a fire urchin Astenosoma varium or at least a sea urchin of the genus Astenosoma. Below you can see Astenosoma marisrubri, which as the species name indicates...marisrubri=Red Sea...is very beautiful but also very....Venomous



It was photographed in the Red Sea during a live aboard dive by my friend Julio Macieira also now a Manhattan reefs member and Reefforum.net administrator and owner.

Well I have this sticky thread about Organismos venenosos-perigosos do recife/Reef venomous-dangerous critters that I have been putting together post by post and other people are also contributing, to inform people dealing with these living reef jewels, about what may lurk beneath the dazzling beauty of many of them, which can in some cases be as both much fatal as it is dazzling beautiful.
Some two days ago or so, I noticed these two threads my fish almost killed me last night (
1 2) and rabbitfish venom. Even before having noticed those to threads I had already decided to bring this other thread of mine to Manhattan Reefs because I don't want any one to get hurt, but there's several other things I want to bring over and share, however when finally I came across LesliS photograph above...well that was it...safety comes first so here it is. I'll be placing posts about all the critters I presently have covered in my original thread and will carry on with others not yet covered. If you have personal experiences and/or photographs or if you want to have a say about this or that critter, even if it is already covered, please do not hesitate to write a post. The more information we have the better can we enjoy safely our tiny bits of sea at home, school...and also out there in the sea while diving, or visiting the low tide zone.

Please understand that this is not to alarm, this is to inform, explain, help!

Echinoderm Envenomation

eMedicine - Echinoderm Envenomation ...
Urchins with pedicellaria may envenom following simple handling if sufficient contact occurs. The flower sea urchin (Toxopneustes pileolus) is reputedly the most venomous of urchins. Intense radiating pain, paresthesias, hypotension, respiratory distress, and muscular paralysis are potential sequelae of contact with this species and may last up to 6 hours. Reportedly, a female pearl diver became unconscious after accidental contact with the flower sea urchin and subsequently drowned.
Ronald L. Shimek - Marine Invertebrates - ISBN 1-890087-bb-1 - Page 402 said:

Asthenosoma spp.
Fire Urchins

Maximum size: Up to 6 in. (15 cm) in diameter.
Range: Indo-Pacific
Minimum Aquarium Size: Large tanks, 100 gal. (380 litres) or larger
Lighting: Immaterial
Foods & Feeding: Herbivorous; need an occasional meaty meal.
Aquarium suitability/Reef aquarium Compatibility: Not suitable for a reef aquarium; capable of inflicting a painful, dangerous sting.
Captive care: Vividly colored, these stinging urchins have a flexible, rather than rigid, body. Long fragile spines are visible, but small, comb like groups of shorter spines are found between them. These smaller spines have repetitive swellings that look like beads, and they have bulbous poison sacs just below the tips. The venom sacs are colored bright blue in some species, bright white in others. If the spines pierce the skin, the pain is often sharp and immediate, but it also often seems to increase in intensity over the next few hours. Once in a reef tank the urchins would be harmless, but transferring them or inadvertently touching them during maintenance could be dangerous. Careless aquarists can be seriously injured.



Astenosoma marisrubri said:
...Hey Snowball, at last we found "yea", it's been long since we've last seen "yea"...so this is where you went after all...New York...all right,cool...the Big Apple...Manhattan...wow...grand style...beautiful city...and to LeslieS exquisite shaped tank...lucky you:wink1:.., but don't you hurt her accidentally...all the best...:hug:
Astenosoma said:
...well you nice reefers we, the Astenosoma genus sea urchins, are not bad critters, and people like Julio every now and then visit us in the tropical seas and photograph us, and others even keep us in their home reefs, like LesliS, but the thing is...we can't be touched because we are venomous. Well...not that we wanted to be so...but we have to be like this to defend ourselves from those gluttonous fish, the Balistidae also known as Trigger fishes, otherwise we would be easy prey for them, so please bear with us...we don't mean bad...please be very careful handling us...use anti puncture gloves or anti-Stick surgical gloves ... we are not evil but could accidentally be

I think it is clear that these species are very beautiful but also dangerous...

Well this said, I could have mistakenly identified Snowball, but...please be careful LeslieS and everyone else as well...don't forget to use anti-puncture gloves.

I'm off to the sea now and will be back to write about the blue ring octopus....


...one thing more...LeslieS who's the manufacturer of that exquisite tank of yours...I really liked it. I have two triangular tanks, one of them bow front, and also have an hexagon and I have the place for one like yours...I like exquisite geometry for tanks...even if some times it makes difficult to establish adequate water motion.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)


 
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Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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I could be wrong, but I believe Snowball is a purple and white urchin of a similar shape. I'll try and find a pic for you. I've seen her in person.
Hi ellebelle, Hi everyone ;-)
I don't know if LeslieS has already seen this thread, but I'll be asking Her about that in her tank thread as well as for the tank manufacturer. Just tell her to be careful.

Well and now I'm going to continue with the Blue Ring Octopus as mentioned previously, an octopus which is represented by three species Hapalochlaena lunulata; Hapalochlaena maculosa; Hapalochlaena fasciata that can show up in the trade quite easily and for a price I would say accessible given the animal in question...Over here some 70~80 Euros (some 110~120 US Dollars) would be enough to bring it home...along with the possibility of



Now the blue ring octopus is one of the most venomous critters living on earth and it is quite small (does not grow more than what you will be seeing) as you can see here in this video that frankly I don't like much to see:irked: as these children were exposed to severe risk...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=kLPXpluXnFE

Here you can read more about the blue ring octopus and its venom, feeding and reproduction habits

wikipedia said:
Venom


Blue-ringed octopus from New South Wales, Australia


The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball, but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. There is no known antidote.
The octopus produces venom that contains tetrodotoxin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine. The major neurotoxin component of blue-ringed octopus venom was originally known as maculotoxin, but was later found to be identical to tetrodotoxin,[1] a neurotoxin which is also found in pufferfish and cone snails. Tetrodotoxin blocks sodium channels, causing motor paralysis and sometimes respiratory arrest leading to cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen. The toxin is created by bacteria in the salivary glands of the octopus[2].
First aid treatment is pressure on the wound and rescue breathing. It is essential, if rescue breathing is required, that it be continued until the victim begins to breathe, which may be some hours. Hospital treatment involves respiratory assistance until the toxin is washed out of the body. The symptoms vary in severity, with children being the most at risk because of their small body size. The victim might be saved if artificial respiration starts before marked cyanosis and hypotension develop. Victims who live through the first 24 hours generally go on to make a complete recovery.[3]
It is essential that immediate and full time respiratory support be given (e.g. artificial respiration/rescue breathing) even if the victim appears not to be responding. Tetrodotoxin poisoning can result in the victim being fully aware of his/her surroundings but unable to breathe. Because of the paralysis that occurs they have no way of signalling for help or any way of indicating distress. Respiratory support, together with reassurance, until medical assistance arrives ensures that the victim will generally recover well.
The blue-ringed octopus is currently one of the most toxic known sea creatures. Another cephalopod, Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish, produces a venom roughly equal in potency to that of the blue-ringed octopus.[4] Despite its small size, the blue-ringed octopus carries enough poison to kill 26 adult humans within minutes[5].

The saliva of blue-ringed octopuses contains a powerful nerve toxic that blocks nerves from transmitting messages to the brain. The victim's voluntary muscles (involuntary muscles such as the heart, iris and gut lining continue to function) are paralyzed. People die then from lack of oxygen. If mouth to mouth resuscitation is given, the victim recovers fully. Blue-ringed octopuses are shy and not aggressive, they tend to avoid people (not their natural prey - much too big!).
Here you can see more images of it as well as other venomous marine animals


Bellow you can see some images and live images in one of the places it is often found, boat piers, swimming through human garbage in search for food


http://youtube.com/watch?v=_HKkMOi3dQw


By the way if you dive, remember that a 3mm wet suit does not offer protection against the bite!


The rings provide camouflage as they help to confound with the background


http://youtube.com/watch?v=l2Cly17g3oY

and there is a lot more images and videos and information about it available on the internet, just perform a search by Blue Ring Octopus in Google search engine and on YouTube and see the results...its easy and you can do it as much as I can as you have your own computers and internet for that.

In this image here of a preserved specimen of Haploclaena maculosa, you can read written on the tag
This specimen bites cause paralysis
To complete the information about the Blue Ring Octopus recommend the reading of page 320 of the Marine Invertebrates Guide By Ronald L. Shimek - ISBN 1-890087-66-1 - TFH.

Blue Ring Octopus - Haplochlaena spp. said:
Look we are not evil and also do not want to harm you, we are cute, smart and very small...but we are extremely venomous....to defend our selves, subsist or we might have gone extinct, so we have this powerful, inconspicuous and silent weapon...the venom!
One last thing, octopus are very intelligent animals which among others makes them notorious escapees so it is another aspect to bear in mind, especially when you deal with such a venomous animal and have cats, dogs, or even small children in the house who could find one of these laying on the floor dead or still alive and trying to hide or reach another tank where they saw fish swimming....and one day or another you will have to perform maintenance to the tank...
Fortune favours the bold but not the unwary. Please do remember that you may not have somebody next to you that knows about this and is able to maintain enough cold blood to maintain you alive until you can do it by your selves...if you ever can.

Please understand that this is not to alarm, this is to inform, explain, help!

Take care.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)


Post Scriptum: I'll be back next time with the cigarette cone snail...
 
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Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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I could be wrong, but I believe Snowball is a purple and white urchin of a similar shape. I'll try and find a pic for you. I've seen her in person.
Hi ellebelle, LeslieS, everyone ;-)
So if it is a purple and white sea urchin, I believe it to be Salmacis bicolor (please be understanding with me as I'm still learning the common names used by many of you, since I use always scientific names for more identification accuracy), I checked both The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium, volume 4, page 351 ISBN 3-928819 -22 - 4 and made some :google: search on Salmacis bicolor and found nothing of it being toxic, although its spines are very thin so one has to be careful to avoid injuries. Well I'm glad that I misidentified it both for the fact (at least I found nothing stating otherwise) that it is not venomous and it is a very beautiful animal, even if there are some reports of it showing an opportunistic feeding behavior ... which I believe could be triggered by insufficient food source, so the urchin in desperation to find food, turns to whatever it can get edible, even if it isn't its natural food.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
 

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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Pedro your good,, And have some time on your hands... Thanks for the info...
I predict 4,000 post in 1 year,,,lol...
KathyC said:
Great idea for a thread Pedro!
Hi Bob 1000 ;-), Hi KathyC
Your both most kind...and Bob...4000 posts...I don't think so :)...also there's far better and more knowledgeable people here in MR than me...and like many, I'm learning. Basically I share the little I know and try to help others with it, and try to learn as much as possible. ;-)

...well let's continue... and this time with the Cigarette snail:Yikes:, known to Science as Conus Geographus, although for that mater many cone snails have such a powerful venom that they can receive that nick name, but as there are many species I selected one, very venomous and known to have caused fatalities, as representative to present here at MR.

Conus geographus belongs to a wide group of marine gastropods of the family Conidae also designated by Cone snails

Of the many characteristics cone snails have, exquisite beauty and being very venomous are possibly the most know, with variations and some exceptions.

These snails are carnivorous and predatory, but also very slow, so the extremely powerful venom is the means to have success in getting food and it is also a weapon for defense, be it intentional or not.

wikipedia said:
Life habits

Cone snails are carnivorous, and predatory. They hunt and eat prey such as marine worms, small fish, mollusks, and even other cone snails. Because cone snails are slow-moving, they use a venomous harpoon (called a toxoglossan radula) in order to capture faster-moving prey such as fish. The venom of a few larger species is powerful enough to kill a human being.

[edit] Harpoon and venoms


An individual Conus pennaeus attacking one of a group of three snails of the species Cymatium nicobaricum in Hawaii




Cone snail use a harpoon-like structure for predation. Each of these harpoons is a modified tooth, primarily made of chitin. These teeth are formed inside the mouth of the snail, in a structure known as the radula. (The radula in most gastropods has rows of many small teeth, and is used for rasping at food and scraping it into the mouth.)
All cone snails are predatory. Small species of cone snails hunt small prey such as marine worms, whereas larger cone snails hunt fish.
The harpoon of the cone snail is hollow and barbed, and is attached to the tip of the radula inside the snail's throat. When the snail detects a prey animal nearby, it turns a long flexible tube called a proboscis - towards the prey. The harpoon is loaded with venom and, still attached to the radula, is fired from the proboscis into the prey by a powerful muscular contraction. The venom paralyzes small fish almost instantly. The snail then retracts the radula, drawing the subdued prey into the mouth. After the prey is digested, the cone snail will regurgitate any indigestible material such as spines and scales, along with the then disposable harpoon.
The tropical cone snail Conus purpurascens uses its special modified radular teeth to fire a retrievable hollow dart at small fish and injects a toxin. The toxin rapidly paralyses the fish, which the cone snail then swallows.[3]
All cone snail species are equipped with a battery of toxic harpoons which can fire in any direction, even backwards. Some of these toxins can be fatal to humans.[4]
The venom of cone snails contains hundreds of different compounds, and its exact composition varies widely from one species of cone snail to another. The toxins in these various venoms are called conotoxins. These are various peptides, each targeting a specific nerve channel or receptor. Some cone snail venoms also contain a pain-reducing toxin, which the snail uses to pacify the victim before immobilising and then killing it. Some cone snail venoms contain a tetrodotoxin, which is similar to the paralytic neurotoxins found in pufferfish, the blue-ringed octopus, and the Rough-skinned Newt.
wikipedia said:
All cone snail species are equipped with a battery of toxic harpoons which can fire in any direction, even backwards. Some of these toxins can be fatal to humans.
As stated above, please see below this diorama of a Conus geographus that allows to show people the action safely and in slow motion

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8aprazOOvBA

The reason for Conus geographus being called the Cigarette snail, has to do with the fact that a Human being once stung with its very powerful venom, has about the time to smoke a cigarette before perishing.

National Geographic said:
Fast Facts

Type: Invertebrate
Diet: Carnivore
Size: 4 to 6 in (10 to 15 cm)
Did you know? The geographic cone is nicknamed the "cigarette snail," a humorous exaggeration meaning a person stung by one would have enough time to smoke a cigarette before dying.
Size relative to a tea cup:
Relevance to humans


[edit] Risk of being stung


A live Textile cone, Conus textile, one of the three most dangerous cones to handle.


The bright colors and patterns of cone snails are attractive to the eye, and therefore people sometimes pick up the live animals and hold them in their hand for a while. This is risky, because the snail often fires its harpoon in these situations. In the case of the larger species of cone snail, the harpoon is sometimes capable of penetrating the skin even through gloves or wetsuits.
The "sting" of many of the smallest cone species may be no worse than that of a bee or hornet sting [1], but in the case of a few of the larger tropical fish-eating species, especially Conus geographus, Conus tulipa and Conus striatus, handling the snail can sometimes have fatal consequences. Other dangerous species are Conus pennaceus, Conus textile, Conus aulicus, Conus magus and Conus marmoreus [2]. According to Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies, only about 15 deaths can be confidently attributed to cone snail envenomation. Most of the cone snails that hunt worms rather than fish are probably not a real risk to humans, with the possible exception of larger species such as Conus leopardus or Conus quercinus.
One of the fish-eating species, the geography cone, Conus geographus, is also known colloquially as the "cigarette snail," a humorous exaggeration implying that, when stung by this creature, the victim will have only enough time to smoke a cigarette before dying.[5][6]
Symptoms of a more serious cone snail sting include intense pain, swelling, numbness and tingling. Symptoms can start immediately or can be delayed in onset for days. Severe cases involve muscle paralysis, changes in vision and respiratory failure that can lead to death. There is no antivenom, and treatment involves providing life support until the venom is metabolised by the victim.
More about how they attack

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mtPVgW3rLqE

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xdmDuk3fnqc

http://youtube.com/watch?v=HrgkqImgSK4

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tWwebIIAQR4

Well cone snails are not that expensive and show up in live stock lists...but they can cost the life of a person...and should one think that by wearing gloves or a thick protection would be enough, well think again

The bright colors and patterns of cone snails are attractive to the eye, and therefore people sometimes pick up the live animals and hold them in their hand for a while. This is risky, because the snail often fires its harpoon in these situations. In the case of the larger species of cone snail, the harpoon is sometimes capable of penetrating the skin even through gloves or wetsuits.
There is much more information about these snails both on the internet as well as Ronald L. Shimek Marine Invertebrates - ISBN 1-890087-66-1 - TFH - page 325

Conus snails said:
Hello there everyone, we the cone snails are very beautiful and also very slow, we need food to survive like you, but since we are slow and don't feed on algae, we have to hunt, so we have this powerful venom to immobilize our preys on the spot, otherwise we could loose them to other animals and would starve in consequence. We are not evil, but please do not let yourselves be tempted by our beauty, we don't mean you harm...but it is our nature


Again, this is not to scare or alarm, but to inform and prevention. Do remember that fortune favors the bold but not the unwary or even the uninformed.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
 

cybermeez

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I have a One Spot Foxface in my tank, but I research all critters before I ever buy them. So, I knew to steer clear of the pointy parts of the fish. Other than that the only other contribution I can make is never underestimate the ability of a zoanthid or it's juice to kill you or your pets (i.e. cats and dogs). It makes puffer fish meat look like girl scout cookies.

BTW, there is some speculation that like poison dart frogs Rabbitfish are toxic thanks to what they eat...zoanthids.
 
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Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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I have a One Spot Foxface in my tank, but I research all critters before I ever buy them. So, I knew to steer clear of the pointy parts of the fish. Other than that the only other contribution I can make is never underestimate the ability of a zoanthid or it's juice to kill you or your pets (i.e. cats and dogs). It makes puffer fish meat look like girl scout cookies.

BTW, there is some speculation that like poison dart frogs Rabbitfish are toxic thanks to what they eat...zoanthids.
Hi;-)

In some algivorous fish the poison ability comes from the algae they ingest which contain toxic substances that the fish incorporates in is flesh or other part of the body, like what happens with many other animals like some poison dart frogs, etc...This said it does not mean that it is necessarily the case of the One Spot Foxface.
Please do bear in mind also that the poison in question does remain active even after the fish as ceased to live. One member of Reefforum.net did not know about this and upon removing the fish from the tank he got accidentally punctured while manipulating the non living fish and as a result experienced during several hours an excruciating pain and paralysis of is right arm


You can read more in the ReefKeeping article
Henry C. Schulz III] Rabbitfish possess two defensive mechanisms, though one is arguably more effective at getting their "point" across. First, all rabbitfish have the ability to camouflage themselves when in the time of need. Such times would include when threatened, sleeping, or anytime the fish wishes to blend into its surroundings. This "fright" color stage is rather similar throughout the family. It will consist of six dark and six pale zones of color. The zones will be irregularly shaped, and descend downward along the body. A brown bar also passes through the eye with three additional dark bars passing across the isthmus and thorax. When the "camo" fails the fish, the poisonous spines will definitely be adequate defense. The fish delivers the venom via one or more of its twenty-five spines. The spines, when viewed as a cross-section, appear shaped as a "Y," with the leg of the "Y" facing anteriorly. The venom is stored in glands located in the distal third of the "Y" (Halstead and Courville, 1970). The spines are not hollow, and there are no special venom storage sacs. The venom enters the victim once the spine is traumatized by the puncture (Woodland, 1990).
The infliction can most likely be compared to a Bee or Wasp sting. Initial pain is intense, usually persisting for several hours. Swelling and soreness may remain for several days. In the case of puncture wounds from several spines, swelling of the lymph nodes has been indicated. Nonetheless, it is probably prudent to seek immediate medical attention if you happen to get stung by your pet rabbitfish. For those curious, incidents of Ciguatera poisoning is rare, though not unheard of in Siganids. For those unfamiliar, Ciguatera poisoning is usually associated with bottom-dwelling shore reef fish; it the most common fish-borne seafood intoxication. These fish feed on toxic dinoflagellates and the causative agent, ciguatoxin, becomes concentrated in the meat of these fish. Humans eat the meat, and the ensuing sickness is called Ciguatera poisoning. Severe reactions can lead to seizures and respiratory paralysis (Raiklin-Eisenkraft and Bentur, 2002).
in another article one can read

[FONT=&quot]Handling [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Siganus vulpinus[/FONT][FONT=&quot] have venomous anal and dorsal fin rays that can inflict painful wounds. However, these poisonous rays are used only in defense so do not handle these fish with your hands. Avoid netting whenever possible because their fins and spines can easily become entangled causing them injury and freeing the fish could cause you to become accidentally punctured by a venomous ray. Capture them by chasing them into a plastic container or bag. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]

[/FONT]Once more, this is not meant to scare or alarm people
, it is meant to inform so that everyone wishing to keep this magnificent marine "jewel", can do so without harm.

Some 15 years ago I kept two and they were very peaceful. It is a good addition the reef system as long as you have enough room for it and take precaution to not getting punctured.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno;)



[FONT=&quot]

[/FONT]
 
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Davidl919

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Hello Pedro and thanks :splitspin for the thread.

I read the article on MR's magazine about Zoo's having venemous capabilities and I was shocked. What is the potency of this venom? and if possible when you know, could you tell us the type of venom used by the species that you list, either neuro or hemo in case someone is misfortunate to be inflicted. The more info we can provide when visiting or being dragged into a hospital the better. Again Thanks
 

cybermeez

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Once more, this is not meant to scare or alarm people
, it is meant to inform so that everyone wishing to keep this magnificent marine "jewel", can do so without harm.

Some 15 years ago I kept two and they were very peaceful. It is a good addition the reef system as long as you have enough room for it and take precaution to not getting punctured.
Yes, the Foxface it as a great fish and beautiful too. It's really neat when he changes color. When my Hippo gets a little worked up (usually from seeing his reflection) my Foxface will cruise around the tank with his spines up and the Hippo won't go near him. It's the fishy equivalent of "Speak softly, but carry a big stick." Fortunately I've never been stung and I'm very concious of where the fish is when i have my hands in the tank. I have however been badly sliced by the Hippo.
 

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

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Hello Pedro and thanks :splitspin for the thread.

I read the article on MR's magazine about Zoo's having venemous capabilities and I was shocked. What is the potency of this venom? and if possible when you know, could you tell us the type of venom used by the species that you list, either neuro or hemo in case someone is misfortunate to be inflicted. The more info we can provide when visiting or being dragged into a hospital the better. Again Thanks
Hi David;-)

From what I could find so far, Palytoxin is hemo...

A rapid and sensitive hemolysis neutralization assay for palytoxin.

Bignami GS.
Hawaii Biotechnology Group, Inc., Aiea 96701.
The hemolytic action of palytoxin was exploited to develop a simple, sensitive assay with specificity based on a palytoxin neutralizing monoclonal antibody. Suspensions of murine erythrocytes incubated at 37 degrees C in round-bottom microtiter trays formed visible cell pellets which could be lysed by palytoxin. Hemolysis by palytoxin was time- and temperature-dependent, with a 24 hr detection limit of 1 pg/ml. The assay selectively detected palytoxin in a crude extract of Palythoa tuberculosa.
PMID: 8102021 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Title:A full-length protocol to test hemolytic activity of palytoxin on human erythrocytes Author:M Malagoli Abstract:The hemolytic assay protocols currently utilized to test the presence of the marine biotoxin palytoxin (PTX) are deeply analyzed. In some points, slight modifications and rearrangements have been realized, to obtain an exhaustive protocol suitable to test PTX activity on human erythrocytes. Journal:Invertebrate Survival Journal Issn:1824307X EIssn:
Year:2007 Volume:4 Issue:2 pages/rec.No:92-94 Key wordspalytoxin ; hemolysis ; method
In fact Palytoxin is far more dangerous than the majority of people know

Identification of putative palytoxin as the cause of clupeotoxism






References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.


Yutaka Onumaa, Masayuki Satakea, Takanori Ukenaa, Jean Rouxb, Suzanne Chanteaub, Noelson Rasolofonirinab, Mamy Ratsimalotoc, Hideo Naokid and Takeshi Yasumotoa, *

a Faculty of Agriculture, Tohoku University, Tsutsumidori-Amamiya, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 981-8555 Japan
b Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, Antananarivo, Madagascar
c Ministry of Health, Circunscription M?dicale d'Antalaha, Madagascar
d Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka, 618-8503 Japan



Received 18 February 1998;
accepted 20 April 1998.
Available online 4 January 1999.

Abstract

In 1994 in Madagascar a woman died after eating a sardine, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus. Two heads removed, respectively, from a toxic and a nontoxic fish before cooking were retrieved, kept frozen, and used for toxin analysis. The causative toxin was identified as palytoxin or its analogs based on its cytotoxicity, delayed hemolysis, neutralization with an anti-palytoxin antibody, chromatographic properties on different columns, and MS data. The gill and esophagus of the fish contained large amount of bottom sediments indicating that the fish had fed on the bottom and thus probably obtained the toxin from a benthic organism. The benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis siamensis that produces palytoxin and its analogs was inferred as the probable toxin source. This is the first study to shed light on clupeotoxism, a highly fatal form of human intoxication due to ingestion of clupeoid fish.

Palytoxin: A New Marine Toxin from a Coelenterate

Richard E. Moore 1 and Paul J. Scheuer 1 [SIZE=-1] 1 Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96822
[/SIZE]

Palytoxin has been isolated from the zoanthids "limu-make-o-Hana" (Tentatively identified as Palythoa sp.) as a noncrystalline, chromatographically pure entity. Apart from polypeptide and protein toxins, it is the most highly toxic substance known, with a lethal dose (LD59) in mice of 0.15 microgram per kilogram by intravenous injection. Unlike the potent toxins batrachotoxin, saxitoxin, and tetrodotoxin which have molecular weights of 500 or less, palytoxin has an estimated molecular weight of 3300 and contains no repetitive amino acid or sugar units.


Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol (1982) 319:101 - 107
Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's
Archivesof
Pharmacology
9 Springer-Verlag 1982
Ouabain Inhibits the Increase Due to Palytoxin
of Cation Permeability of Erythrocytes*
Here is one case that happened with MR members recently and that I mention in the article I wrote *Reef Keeping Precautions* (
1 2 3 ... Last Page)

Enjoy your Zoanthus safely. Zoanthus are beautiful and very interesting to keep, one only has to be careful

Cheers
Pedro Nuno;)
 

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

Liquid Breathing
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Hello Pedro and thanks :splitspin for the thread.

I read the article on MR's magazine about Zoo's having venemous capabilities and I was shocked. What is the potency of this venom? and if possible when you know, could you tell us the type of venom used by the species that you list, either neuro or hemo in case someone is misfortunate to be inflicted. The more info we can provide when visiting or being dragged into a hospital the better. Again Thanks
Hi David
Please find below some more information, namely this one that can be of help in case of accident

Anti-venom international phones and links





Tetradotoxin or TTX is a neurotoxic venom

Tetrodotoxin (anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin, tetrodonic acid, TTX) is a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote. Tetrodotoxin blocks action potentials in nerves by binding to the pores of the voltage-gated, fast sodium channels in nerve cell membranes.[1] The binding site of this toxin is located at the pore opening of the voltage-gated Na+ channel. Its name derives from Tetraodontiformes, the name of the order that includes the pufferfish, porcupinefish, ocean sunfish or mola, and triggerfish, several species of which carry the toxin. Although tetrodotoxin was discovered in these fish and found in several other animals (e.g., Blue-ringed Octopus, Rough-skinned newt,[2] and Naticidae[3]) It is actually the product of certain bacteria such as Pseudoalteromonas tetraodonis, certain species of Pseudomonas and Vibrio, as well as some others.
Its mechanism was discovered in the early 1960s by Toshio Narahashi working at Duke University.

Conotoxin, the venom produced by cone snails, is a neurotoxic peptide venom


A conotoxin is one of a group of neurotoxic peptides isolated from the venom of the marine cone snail, genus Conus.
Conotoxins, which are peptides consisting of 10 to 30 amino acid residues, typically have one or more disulfide bonds. Conotoxins have a variety of mechanisms of actions, most of which have not been determined. However it appears that many of these peptides modulate the activity of ion channels.[1]

Maculotoxin AKA MTX is also a neurotoxic venom derived from TTX AKA Tetradotoxin


An octopus toxin, maculotoxin, selectively blocks sodium current in squid axons.


1. A low molecular weight, stable, cationic neurotoxin (maculotoxin, MTX) extracted from the posterior salivary glands of the octopus Hapalochlaena maculosa, blocked sodium current in voltage-clamped squid axons without affecting potassium current. 2. The effectiveness of MTX was increased by repetitive, brief, depolarizing pulses but not by a single prolonged depolarization. 3. The potency of MTX decreased at pHs from 8 to 9. Effectiveness could be restored be restored by lowering the pH to 7-1 again. It was concluded that MTX is active in its cationic form. 4. MTX affected sodium conductance kinetics, slowing the turn-on of sodium current. This effect was most noticeable with small deploarizations but became progressively less with larger depolarizations. Neither the turn-off of sodium current nor sodium inactivation kinetics were affected by the toxin. 5. MTX inhibited sodium current without inhibiting sodium gating current. 6. The effectiveness of MTX was not detectably changed when calcium concentration was varied from 50 to 10 mM, or sodium concentration was varied from 225 to 750 mM.

AN OCTOPUS TOXIN, MACULOTOXIN, SELECTIVELY
BLOCKS SODIUM CURRENT IN SQUID AXONS
PETER W. GAGE,* JOHN W. MOOREt AND
MONTE WESTERFIELDt
From the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole,
Massachusetts, U.S.A.



INTRODUCTION
A small brown octopus, which displays bright blue bands when aroused
or agitated (and hence is commonly called a Blue-ringed octopus), has
caused several deaths in Australia (Flecker & Cotton, 1955; Lane & Sutherland, 1967; Freeman & Turner, 1970). The octopus (Hapalochlaena
maculo8a) can eject a potent neurotoxin from its posterior salivary glands.
This toxin apparently passes into the blood stream through skin punctured
by the beak of the octopus and causes paraesthesia, generalized
weakness and flaccid paralysis.
It has been shown that there is one major toxin fraction, with a molecular
weight less than 540, in this salivary secretion (Sutherland & Lane,
1969). The toxin (maculotoxin, MTX) is stable at a pH below 8, even when
heated to 500 C in 1 m-HCl, and has a long 'shelf-life' (Croft & Howden,
1972). Although causing flaccid paralysis in whole animals, MTX has no
specific effects at the neuromuscular junction, i.e. it does not affect secretion of acetylcholine, nor does it block post-synaptic receptors. Its major effect is to block action potentials (Dulhunty & Gage, 1971; Gage & Dulhunty,1973). MTX is therefore rather similar in its toxicology to tetrodotoxin (Freeman & Turner, 1970) but chemically the two are distinguishable in several respects (Croft & Howden, 1972); they have different chromatographic characteristics, tetrodotoxin (TTX) possesses a guanidine group whereas MTX does not and MTX is negative to ninhydrin (Croft & Howden,1972; but see Jarvis, Crone, Freeman & Turner, 1975).
Because MTX is different in structure from tetrodotoxin, TTX, but
blocks depolarization-activated sodium conductance without abolishing
delayed rectification in skeletal muscle fibres (Dulhunty & Gage, 1971;
Gage & Dulhunty, 1973), it was thought worth while to investigate the
effects of MTX in voltage-clamped squid axons where the characteristics
of sodium and potassium conductance changes in response to step depolarizations can be measured accurately. This would also allow comparison of the effects of MTX and TTX at the membrane level. Preliminary reports of some of these observations have appeared elsewhere (Gage, Moore & Westerfield, 1975a, b).


MACULOTOXIN, A POTENT TOXIN SECRETED BY OCTOPUS MACULOSUS HOYLE

Abstract : The posterior salivary (venom) glands of the blue-ringed octopus, Octopus (Hapalochlaena) maculosus Hoyle have been shown to contain a neurotoxin which is pharmacologically very similar to tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin. The toxin, which has been called 'maculotoxin,' causes hypotension, bradycardia, and respiratory paralysis in rabbits and rats. The hypotension can be temporarily reversed with l-epinephrine or l-norepinephrine. Evidence is presented which suggests that respiratory failure after intravenous injection is due to blockade of muscular nerve axons. The toxin blocks transmission in the sciatic nerve of the toad and the rat, and at low dose levels appears to have neuromuscular blocking activity. At higher dose levels the muscle membrane also becomes inexcitable. It is without significant effect on the acetylcholine-induced contraction of the chronically denervated rat diaphragm, the toad rectus abdominis, or the guinea pig ileum. Animals can be resuscitated after a marginal lethal dose by artificial ventilation alone, provided this is instituted before hypoxia becomes severe. (Author)

some more about MTX here and here and the chemical formula C11H17N3O8 and it is even available for research here


T5651


Sigma




Tetrodotoxin


powder






Price and Availability
Click For Pricing and Availability





Synonyms:Fugu poison, Maculotoxin, Tarichatoxin, TTXCAS Number:4368-28-9Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):C11H17N3O8Molecular Weight:319.27Beilstein Registry Number:49176EC Number:224-458-8MDL number:MFCD00213719PubChem Substance ID:24900308

PackagingVial contains 1 mg of tetrodotoxin and approx. 5 mg citrate buffer, pH 4.8.Biochem/physiol ActionsReversible, selective blocker of Na+ channels; blocks propagation of impulses in excitable membranes. Used to characterize sodium channels in excitable membranes and to study the role of sodium channels in normal physiology and disease.

Properties


formpowdersolubilityH2O: stable at pH 4-5 if stored frozensoluble strong acid or alkaline solutions: destroyed by boiling at pH 2. unstableGene Informationrat ... Scnn1g(24768)storage temp.2-8?C

Safety


Hazard CodesT+Risk Statements26/27/28Safety Statements22-36/37/39-45RIDADRUN3462 6.1/PG 1WGK Germany3RTECSIO1450000




Cheers
Pedro Nuno;)
 

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