Home Environment The Stingers! Lion, Scorpion and Stone

The Stingers! Lion, Scorpion and Stone

The family Scorpaenidae is composed by several subfamilies which have in common a large and spiny head with a bony crest on the cheek.

They all wear venomous spines. The stings create a strong pain and a numb of the area injured and an extreme weakness.


This impressive defense way is also a system of preys capture. Usually on the bottom or hided under rocks or in corals, they are all carnivorous feeding crustaceans and fishes.


The Common Lionfish hunts sometimes during the day in blue water, amongst schools of small fishes. It takes characteristic attitudes: Fins opened and head down in order to attract fishes between their spines and to swallow them. They use also this comportment in order to repulse one intruder showing it their dorsal fin and their spines.

Others as the Scorpionfishes and Stonefishes prefer the camouflage technique in order to avoid predators and to feed. They are similar to the environment hunting on the lookout during the day and actively during the night. The inflicted injuries by the dorsal fin of these fishes are considered as the more dangerous venomous injuries and are potentially fatal.

The Lionfish sub family is colorful with red, purple, yellow and white straps. The pectoral and dorsal fins are long. The venomous system is composed by 6 to 13 dorsal spines. The pain is very strong during few hours with a swelling more or lest important decreases in the time. Usually, they hide during the day and hunt ay night. The Scorpionfish sub family is more or less colored and use the camouflage technique.

The venomous system is composed by 12 dorsal, one pectoral and three anal pines. The venom glands are inside the tissues around the spine. After the sting, the venom and some fragments of tissues stay inside the injury. From this fact, appear toxic effects and inflammations due to the presence of intruders in the skin, strong pain and swelling.


The Stonefish sub family uses the infallible camouflage technique. Their skin less colorful and irregular produces mucus helping to fix algae, coral debris or sand in order to increase their invisibility. The venomous system is composed by 13 dorsal erectable spines and pectoral and anal venomous spines.

These fishes are considered as the more venomous in the world. The venom is toxic for muscle, heart, neurons and blood. It is thermo labile around 50 degrees Celsius. The symptoms and gravity are depending on the injected dose of venom, the size of the fish and the subject injured. The pain is brutal and appears a swelling of the area and a cyanosis. The person can feel nausea and vertigo. Breathing or heat distresses can be fatal.  Some fatalities can appear by secondary complications as infections in lymph or blood or
by tetanus. Fortunately, stings are rare and most of the time under feet.

REPRODUCTION: a sexual reproduction provides ovoid or round eggs which are 1 mm size and larvae are pelagic. Drifting in current, the tiny juveniles stop on the bottom.

Treatment for Scorpaenidae injury:

- Immediately remove the injuried victim from the water to avoid sinking
- Immediately immerse the lesion in hot water for up to one hour. Do not use more than 45 degrees Celsius to avoid burning
- Breathing and heart medical check and act if necessary
- Prevent Choc and infections
- Only one serum is actually efficient against Stonefish injuries: Stonefish antivenin Common Wealth Serum Laboratories, Department of Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


PREVENTION


- Do not touch anything under water
- Wear shoes with strong sole if you need to walk in Indo-Pacific Ocean lagoons
- Do not walk on stony bottoms and coral reefs

CONCLUSION

Enjoy the beauty of these fishes which are dangerous only for irresponsible divers, snorkelers or swimmers!

 

Read More in H2O


sam-kirby-1.jpg
Sam Kirby is the Regional Manager for PADI International Ltd with responsibility for Egypt, Eastern Europe, Wales and Scotland. A former Instructor
ism.jpg
Have you heard about ISM? You probably haven’t. Neither had we until we spoke with Engineer Abdo Abd El Karim, the Director of Marine
sdc10969.jpg
Teenagers from around Egypt had a lot of fun at the International Youth Ecological Festival, “Artificial reefs-2009”, held at the Blue
Banner

Coming Issue

 

Next edition in English

    next English issue will be available in March  ...

Calendar of events

August 2018 September 2018
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Post Your Event Post Your Event

More Articles

THE WRECK OF THE S.S. ULYSSES

During our northern “classic wreck tour” we visited approximately 18 different wrecks in one week. The Ulysses, one of the most popular wrecks which is often overlooked by visiting safari boats,...
Read More...

Northern Safaris

The Red Sea is a real playground for divers who discover the wonders of the underwater world - and keep coming back for more. And it's not just a question of budget, although it's true that you can ge...
Read More...

CRUISING THE RED SEA

With the Red Sea having a little too much of the good things on offer, it’s easy to retreat into clichés when writing about diving there. Aquamarine, turquoise, azure, pristine, crystal clear, ...
Read More...

Safe Drugs and Diving

That's how you learn to be a surgeon. Easy really, but from my experience a far better route to being a good doctor is: read about it, contract it yourself, diagnose it in others. My old pharmacology ...
Read More...

Lightweight BCD from Scubapro

The New T-One Jacket from SCUBAPRO has been equipped with numerous new features and is the perfect entry level and travel jacket. ...
Read More...

H2O Newsletter


Get diving news, trends, and business information delivered directly to your inbox!

Advertisement

Banner