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Poisonous animals
 
Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones)
 
Venomous fish
 
Scorpions
 
Spiders
 
Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Ants)
 
Sea snakes
 
Terrestrial snakes
 
Miscellaneous animals
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Table 3.1 More precise identification of the cause in accidents with venomous animals in water



     Distribution Characteristics Venom effects

Biomedical database

Diagnosis & Treatment

Fresh water

Marine environment

Injury due to extensive contact/abrasion

Hard consistency

 

Stony corals
Fire corals

 

tropical and subtropical reef areas

sessile; often extend over large areas; stable calcium carbonate skeleton; highly variable growth forms, from flat to highly branched

generally only local

Biomedical database,

Diagnosis & Treatment

Spongious/elastic consistency


Sponges

 

medically significant species in the coastal waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific

sessile, solitary or in colonies; variable growth forms, flat, barrel-, pipe- and cup-shaped forms; porous surface

generally only local Biomedical database

Feather hydroids
 
tropical to cool coastal zones

sessile; feather-like form; flexible, chitin-like supporting skeleton

generally only local

Biomedical database,

Diagnosis & Treatment


Soft or gelatinous consistency


Jellyfish

 

tropical to cold seas and oceans

free-swimming, in areas close to the coast or in the open sea; no supporting skeleton; many colourless, transparent species; consist of a bell and attached tentacles that may be up to several meters in length

often only

local effects, but some species cause severe systemic effects

Biomedical database,

Diagnosis & Treatment


Anemones  

tropical to cold coastal areas; often in the intertidal zone

flower-like animals with no supporting skeleton; consist of a sessile pedal disk (foot) with a crown of tentacles on top

generally only local

Biomedical database,

Diagnosis & Treatment

Marine worms


Bristle worms

 

tropical to warm oceans

elongated,

segmented body; fine bristles along the sides of the body; largest specimens 1–3 m

generally only local Biomedical database
Injury due to puncture wound/bite

Barely noticeable wounds/bites

 

Cone shells

 

primarily tropical coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans

marine snails with shells in the form of a rolled cone; shells often have striking patterns; largest species up to 15 cm; can be dangerous if handled (they are sought after by collectors); sting barely noticeable 

hardly any local effects; can be severe systemic effects

Biomedical database

Octopuses,
in particular:

Blue-ringed octopus

 

generally in tropical to cold seas and oceans; Blue-ringed octopus in coastal waters of Australia

typical octopus form with a "head" and 8 arms; brownish colour with luminous blue rings

Blue-ringed octopus: hardly any local effects, but severe systemic effects; other species: generally only local

Biomedical database

Sea snakes

river mouths and further upstream; Indo-Pacific region; in Lake Taal, Philippines, and Lake Tegano, Solomon Islands

coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific, from the Persian Gulf eastwards to Japan and southwards to Australia; one species in the open sea as well as on the east coast of Africa and the west coast of Central America

differ from snake-like fishes in that they have no fins or gills; in contrast to terrestrial snakes they have a laterally flattened tail; most common in the shallow coastal waters of Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Australia; bite marks often barely visible

hardly any local effects, but severe systemic effects

Biomedical database

Diagnosis & Treatment

Painful puncture wounds

 

Numerous small injuries

 

Sea urchins and starfish
(Crown-of-thorns starfish)

 

venomous sea urchins in tropical and warm zones of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans; Crown-of-thorns starfish in coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific

bottom-dwelling; venomous sea urchins among both long- and short-spined species; following injuries with long-spined species broken-off spine tips may remain under the skin; Crown-of-thorns starfish covered in massive spines; animals have a diameter of up to 40 cm; large puncture wounds

generally only local, but sometimes also systemic effects

Sea urchins, Crown-of-thorns starfish


Single puncture wounds


Fish

Catfishes throughout the world in rivers and lakes

 

stingrays in rivers in South America

tropical to cold seas and oceans; greatest variety of dangerous species in tropical coastal waters

many bottom-dwelling species, which sometimes bury themselves or hide in crevices and often have camouflage colouring; some species also in the intertidal zone; accidents occur not only in the water, but also while fishing or preparing the fish

often only local effects, but some species also cause systemic effects

Biomedical database

Diagnosis & Treatment