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

Biological features of venomous fish


Description of the most important culprits:


General behaviour
Defensive behaviour
Factors relevant to envenoming


Many species are bottom dwellers.  Some (Myliobatidae and Rhinobatidae) are frequently in motion, often coming close to the surface.

Often on sandy and muddy bottom in shallow waters.

Flat, discoid shape with a long, whiplike tail.

If trodden upon, the tail is reflexively whipped forwards.

Injuries are not rare and most commonly occur in victims bathing or wading in shallow water.

Venomous spine can cause deep lacerations. Remnants of the spine integument often remain in the wound.


Typical groundfishes. Poor swimmers, live in coastal areas, usually at depths of 20–60 m.


Prefer rocky coasts ("Rockfishes"), where they often dwell, well camouflaged, between stones or in hollows and in seaweed, but also half buried in the loose substrate.

Robust body with large head, sometimes with spines on the head. Often possess camouflage colouring that makes their body outline indistinct, an effect which is sometimes enhanced by loose flaps of skin.

Although not aggressive, they will erect their fin rays when threatened. In exceptional cases they will swim up to an opponent and inflict directed stings with their dorsal spines.

Among the most common causes of accidents with venomous fish. Swimmers or divers are not commonly affected, as these animals are reclusive and are not often found in shallow water. Rather, most accidents occur in fishermen, frequently while sorting out fish from the nets.



Lionfishes are not reclusive. They swim slowly and majestically through the reef.

Sometimes found in hollows or crevices, Lionfishes are also often known to swim close to places where there is a vertical drop in the substrate, such as coral reefs.

Conspicuous warning colouring in shades of brown or red with contrasting white stripes, with fins spread wide, surrounding the whole body like a shield.

Spreading the dorsal fin toward the enemy. Attacks rapidly, trying to sting with the venomous rays of the dorsal fin.

Most stings in hands or fingers; so: leave these fishes alone!

Many accidents involve aquarists, while handling carelessly in the aquarium.




Bottom dwellers, poor swimmers. often lying half buried in the ground.

Coastal, shallow waters, lying half buried in

sand or mud or between stones or stands of coral, they are practically invisible to prey and enemies alike.

Compact, compressed body with a high back. Warty, tough and scaleless skin with loose flaps and algae growing on it. Perfectly camouflaged against the surrounding substrate. Mouth and eyes directed upwards.

Stonefish don't move, even when people step near by. But they will immediatly errect the dorsal spines at the slightest touch o the back.

Most injuries occur when these fish are trodden upon. At low tide stonefishes may be exposed above the surface of the water, thus accidents may also occur outside the water.



Marine, bottom-dwelling fishes.

T. draco lives in deeper water; the other species more often in shallow water. They prefer a sandy or muddy substrate, which they can dig themselves into, apart from the topmost part of their head, and wait for prey.

Large head. Eyes and mouth directed upwards, body tapered toward the rear.

Weeverfishes are easily startled and can use their gill spines to aim defensive stings at their victim which step to close to them.

Envenoming generally occurs when victims are wading or swimming in shallow water. 

Accidents also in the kitchen, when these fish are prepared for food.