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    Despite comprising over half of the biodiversity of living venomous vertebrates, fish venoms are comparatively understudied. Venom from the lesser weever fish (Echiichthys vipera syn. Trachinus vipera) has received only cursory attention despite containing one of the most potent venom toxins (trachinine). Literature records are further complicated by early studies combining the venom with that of the related greater weever (Trachinus draco). The current study used a chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay to investigate venom bioactivity following the application of measured quantities of crude venom to a major bilateral vein at 1 cm distance from the heart. The venom had a dose-dependent effect on survival rate and exhibited dose-dependent cardiotoxic properties at day six of development. Crude E. vipera triggered tachycardia at doses of 37.58 and 44.88 μg/μL and bradycardia at 77.4 μg/μL. The three highest doses (65.73, 77.4 and 151.24 μg/μL) caused significant mortality. These data also suggested intra-specific variation in E. vipera venom potency. Unlike a number of other piscine venoms, E. vipera venom was not haemorrhagic at the concentrations assayed. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Lucy M Gorman, Sarah J Judge, John B Harris, Gary S Caldwell. Lesser weever fish (Echiichthys vipera Cuvier, 1829) venom is cardiotoxic but not haemorrhagic. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology. 2021 Apr 30;194:63-69

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    PMID: 33631138

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