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The venoms of the lesser (Echiichthys vipera) and greater weeverfish (Trachinus draco) - a review

Lookup NU author(s): Lucy Gorman, Dr Sarah Judge, Dr Gary Caldwell



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Echiichthys vipera, Trachinus draco, Trachinine, Dracotoxin, weever fish venom, cytolyticIn comparison with other animal venoms, fish venoms remain relatively understudied. This is especially true for that of the lesser Echiichthys vipera and greater weever fish Trachinus draco which, apart from the isolation of their unique venom cytolysins, Trachinine and Dracotoxin, respectively, remain relatively uncharacterised. Envenomation reports mainly include mild symptoms consisting of nociception and inflammation. However, like most fish venoms, if the venom becomes systemic it causes cardiorespiratory and blood pressure changes. Although T. draco venom has not been studied since the 1990’s, recent studies on E. vipera venom have discovered novel cytotoxic components on human cancer cells, however, due to the scarcity of research on the molecular make-up of the venom, the molecule(s) causing this cytotoxicity remains unknown. This review analyses past studies on E. vipera and T. draco venom, their methods, the venom constituents characterised, the reported symptoms of envenomation and compares these findings with those from other venomous Scorpaeniformes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gorman LM, Judge SJ, Fezai M, Jemaa M, Harris JB, Caldwell GS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Toxicon: X

Year: 2020

Volume: 6

Print publication date: 01/06/2020

Online publication date: 07/02/2020

Acceptance date: 18/01/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2590-1710


DOI: 10.1016/j.toxcx.2020.100025