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Poisonous animals
 
Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones)
 
Venomous fish
 
Scorpions
 
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Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Ants)
 
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Genus/Species

 

Gempylotoxic fish

Clinical entries

For clinical data see section “Risk” below

Species

Ruvettus pretiosus (Gempylidae)

Taxonomy

Pisces; Osteichthyes; Perciformes

Common names

Oilfish, Escolar, Ölfisch

Distribution

Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Biology

Elongated, spindle-shaped fish with a length of up to 1.8 or even 2 m and may rech a weight of over 60 kg. Often at depths deeper than 200 m, ascending higher in the water column at night. The flesh has a very high oil content and contains waxy esters too; it is estimated for the dense structure especially by Polynesians. The oil/waxy eters have a laxative effect that is not eliminated through boiling or frying. Other fish whose oil can cause a similar effect are Erilepis zonifer (Skilfish, Anoplopomatidae) and Allocuttus Verucosus ("John Dory", Zeidae).

Risk

As these fish do not taste particularly good, they are not eaten frequently and thus poisoning only occurs rarely. Cases are usually mild and are thus not necessarily recognised as being fish poisoning. The Escolar is also potentially ciguatoxic.

Literature (biological)

Halstead 1988, 2001a, Auerbach and Halstead 1989, Bagnis et al. 1970