Tag Archive: venomous

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and Spinefoots)

Genus/species: Siganus virgatus

Barhead Spinefoot 4533131275_6ac3dc18ab_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Yellow above, white below with yellow dorsal and caudal fins; blue markings on head and back. The eyes are masked by a black stripe that extends from the bottom of the mouth to the top of the head, and a brown band running diagonally from nape to chin.

Length up to 11.8 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical west Pacific in shallow coastal waters, around hard coral reefs and areas of sand with patches of rock and soft coral. Tolerant of murky waters. Depth 1–15 m (3-45 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on benthic seaweeds

REPRODUCTION: Pelagic spawner

MORTALITY: Stout venomous spines discourage would-be predators.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List  Not evaluated

REMARKS : Fins and spines are venomous. Caution must be used when handling. Reactions can range from mild to severe
Named rabbitfish due to their voracious appetite.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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EOL http://eol.org/pages/206659/details

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/4624

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes, similar noses)

Genus/species: Siganus punctatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is highly compressed with blue dark edged orange spots on the head and caudal fin. The eye has a silver iris. Adults are typically paired.  Like all rabbitfishes S. punctatus possess venomous spines.

Length: up to 40.0 cm (15 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Western Pacific. Found in clear lagoon and seaward reefs from 1–40 m (3,2-130 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Benthic algae/weeds

REPRODUCTION:  Fertilization is external; open water, substratum egg scatterers. Spawn in pairs.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venomous spines



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/4621

Australia Museum: australianmuseum.net.au/Spotted-Rabbitfish-Siganus-punctatus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes) 
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and spine-foots)

Genus/species: Siganus guttatus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Siganus guttatus has a Head with lines and spots. It is silvery ventrally and dusky blue dorsally, with numerous orange-gold spots and a large yellow spot below rear base of dorsal fin. 

Length to 42 cm (16.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in East Indo-Pacific to 25 m (75 ft) in inner lagoons, turbid coastal reefs, mangroves and brackish waters. Typically in large groups of conspecifics.

DIET IN THE WILD: These fish are hearty eaters feeding primarily on algae and seagrasses, though are known to nip on large-polyp stony corals as well as soft corals.

REPRODUCTION: Spawners. Fry settles in seagrass beds around river mouths.


REMARKS: Highly esteemed as a food fish.
The spines of rabbitfishes (Siganidae) are venomous, and can inflict painful wounds.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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EOL eol.org/pages/2804181/hierarchy_entries/44731406/details

fishbase fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4588

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes)

Genus/species: Acanthurus lineatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Lined Surgeonfish has a compressed and disc-like body with a large venomous, scalpel-like caudal spine on each side of the caudal peduncle. The body is yellowish-green, with bright blue stripes edged with black most pronounced on the flank. The stripes on the belly are lavender blue to bluish-white on the belly. The pelvic fins are bright orange.
Length to 38 cm (15 in)

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus 8624034686_90d26c8326_o


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from East Africa north to southern Japan and south to New South Wales, Australia found on exposed outer reef areas at depths of 3-9 ft.

DIET IN THE WILD: Herbivorous, browses on algae but also feeds on crustaceans.

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus

REPRODUCTION: Large males patrol defined feeding areas and maintain harems of females. Migrates to and spawns in aggregations at specific sites, although they sometimes spawn in pairs. Spawning occurs year-round at lower latitudes but may be seasonal at higher latitudes. The eggs and larvae are pelagic.

MORTALITY: It is estimated that this species can live 30 to 45 years.

CONSERVATION: Least concern.

REMARKS: The venomous caudal spines are very effective defense mechanisms for surgeonfish. They are razor-sharp and useful weapons against attack. The lined surgeonfish was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/country/CountrySpeciesSummary.php?c_code=144&id=1258

EOL http://eol.org/pages/208629/details

Australia Museum    http://australianmuseum.net.au/Striped-Surgeonfish-Acanthurus-lineatus-Linnaeus-1758



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order: Myliobatiformes (Stingrays)
Family: Dasyatidae (Stingrays)

Genus/species: Taeniura lymma

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: large bright blue spots on a grey-brown to yellow, olive-green or reddish-brown oval, elongated disc with lateral blue side-stripes along the tail. The snout is rounded and angular. Disc diameter to 25 cm (9.8 inches).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific around coral reefs and sandy bottoms to a debt of 20 meters (66 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Prey is often detected through electroreception, a system which senses the electrical fields produced by the prey. Within the mouth are two plates, which are used for crushing mollusks, worms, shrimps, and crabs.

Taeniura lymma9830767635_6774f7ae7d_k

REPRODUCTION: T. lymma is ovoviviparous; the egg-shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.

PREDATION: The hammerhead shark uses the cartilaginous projections form the side of their heads to pin them down to the bottom of the substrate while taking bites from the stingray’s disc. The hammerhead is able to avoid being stung by the poisonous spines on the rays tail by pinning the stingray down.


CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Near threatened

REMARKS: At the tip of the tail are two sharp venomous spines (can be regenerated) which permit this ray to strike at enemies forward of its head. Venom is produced and delivered into narrow groves running lengthwise along the underside of the stinger. The entire structure is covered by a thin layer of skin which, when broken, releases its venom into its victim.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Reef Lagoon 2016

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Taeniura-lymma.html

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Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608440813109/

ARKive    www.arkive.org/ribbontailed-stingray/taeniura-lymma/



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Myliobatiformes
Family: Dasyatidae (Whiptail Stingrays, whip-like tails, which are much longer than the disc)

Genus/species: Himantura uarnak


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Disc light brown above with conspicuous dark spots, white ventrally. Tail with bands of black and white, three times the body length. One tail spine. The dark spots are separated in the young ray; in the adult they become crowded together, forming the reticulated pattern from which it gets its name. Snout sharply pointed. Band of flat denticles down the back.
Width up to 2 m (6.5 ft), weigh up to 120 kg (265 lbs).

 Himantura uarnak 18366435141_1e263bfff2_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical, Indo-West Pacific, Red Sea, to southern Africa and French Polynesia, north to Taiwan, south to Australia.

Benthic, found in surf zone, sandy beaches, sandy areas of coral reefs, shallow estuaries and lagoons, down to 90 m (295 ft). It can tolerate brackish water and in India, has been found in the fresh water of Chilka Lake and the Hoogly River, a tributary of the Ganges River.


DIET IN THE WILD: Main foods: small fish, also bivalves crabs, shrimps, worms and jellies.

REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous. Embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures


REMARKS: Although venomous, it is a popular angling fish due to its being a powerful fighter. It is not a food fish but is used in Chinese medicine.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list Vulnerable (VU)

REMARKS: Since their mouths are directed downward and often placed against the sand, stingrays use their spiracles rather than their mouths for water intake.

Stingrays have a spiral valve in their intestine that increases food absorption, and lack a swim bladder.

Although venomous, it is a popular angling fish due to its being a powerful fighter. It is not a food fish but is used in Chinese medicine.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Reef Lagoon 2016

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627919810858/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-P8

fishbase  www.fishbase.us/summary/5507

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/161692/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1859/details

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Caraboctonidae (hairy scorpions)

Genus/species: Hadrurus arizonensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black cephalothorax with pale yellow rimmed segments; pale yellow abdomen, pincer-like pedipalps, and legs; pale under-surface; and abundant erect dark brown sensory hairs.

Largest of the nine scorpion species in North America. Length 10 to 18 cm (3.94 to 7.09 in)
Ave. weight 5 g (0.18 oz)

They molt 4 to 6 times before reaching adulthood in about 4 years.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Mexico, western Arizona, southern California and Nevada, southwestern Utah. Found in semi-arid and arid habitats. Dig and live in deep burrows in soil during summer.


DIET IN THE WILD: Although the venom of North American hairy scorpions is fairly week compared to most scorpions (about the same as a bee sting) these solitary predators immobilize and eat other scorpions, insects, spiders, small lizards and snakes. Forages at night for prey and mates.


REPRODUCTION: Scorpions reproduce sexually following an intricate mating behavior. Gestation lasts 6 to 12 months. Females give live birth to a large litter of 25 to 35 individuals. Occasionally, after mating, the female tracks down her mate and eats him.

LONGEVITY; Up to 25 years in captivity, ave, 7-10 in the wild.

PREDATORS: Owls and large lizards. When provoked they raise their legs and orienting themselves vertically, striking blindly at anything deemed threatening.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List, Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venom in the scorpion’s stinger is used to subdue struggling prey and for self-defense. The venom is not very potent or painful to humans. Like all scorpions, has poor eyesight, excellent hearing, and a fine sense of touch (body hairs detect air and ground vibrations).

Color of Life note

Also like all scorpions, they fluoresce under ultraviolet light, a characteristic that allows scientists (and well-equipped backpackers) to detect them in the night and perhaps signals scorpions to avoid damaging UV light.

Ref. California Academy of Science Docent program 2015



California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Little Water 2018 with exoskeleton

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4770063879/in/album-72157608653175263/

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Animal diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hadrurus_arizonensis/

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/3195616/details

Getty Images www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/giant-desert-hairy-scorp…


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Mantellidae

Genus/species: Mantella baroni


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Has vibrant warning colors of black, orange, and yellow or green. The eye iris is black. Unlike many other frogs, mantella frogs move through trees and on the jungle floor, thus they do not have a need for webbed feet. 2.5-3.2 cm (1.0-1.3 inches) in length.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widely distributed throughout east-central Madagascar. It is terrestrial found in forest and in slash-and-burn areas, often at considerable distance from forest. Males can be found calling loudly during the day, exposed near the sides of streams and surrounding forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects including termites, fruit flies, and ants due to the fact that their meals provide them with alkaloid toxins.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are laid on land, and the larvae are washed by rain into streams, where they develop.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Red List; Least Concern (LC)
Has a wide distribution and is tolerant to habitat modification.

REMARKS: Secretes allopumiliotoxin 267A, which is one of the most toxic compounds but not strong enough to kill other predators. Their poison can make dangerous creatures sick. In captivity, the frog loses its toxicity as a result of an altered diet.

Painted Mantella

Rainforest Madagascar MA06


Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/329310/details

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/57438/0

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Frogs cc  frogs.cc/mantella-frog-baroni/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae (Colubrids)

Genus/species: Langaha madagascariensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Displays striking sexual dimorphism: male has a pointed snout and body with contrasting coloration; female has leaf-shaped snout and is uniformly dark brown. 

                    female belowLangaha madagascariensis8599840662_312f136ba9_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to Madagascar. Found at low elevations in much of the island. It is arboreal, living on and in vines. 

                    female belowLangaha madagascariensis3268009379_b359b1da8b_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Lizards Primarily ambush predators, rather than active foragers although it has been observed chasing skinks on the ground. Usually vertical ‘hanging’ behavior as adults, mimicking the seed pods of Malagasy plants (and perhaps deter predation, though by what predator is unclear).

                     male belowLangaha madagascariensis2981271735_2d1bf7df0f_b-2


CONSERVATION: ICUN Red list Least Concern (LC) 

Wide distribution and presumed large overall population, make it unlikely to decline fast enough to qualify for a more threatened category.

REMARKS: Venomous; bites can produce severe local pain and swelling that may last for several days. Colubrids tend to chew when they bite, further envenomating and infecting the site. 

Madagascar Rainforest MA03


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Manual 2014

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/794161/details

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae (fangs slope towards each other in a pinching action)
Family: Nephilidae

Genus/species: Nephila madagascariensis


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have striped legs specialized for weaving (where their tips point inward, rather than outward as is the case with many wandering spiders). In females, the dorsal side of the abdomen has bright yellow markings surrounded by a light gray border. The rest of the body and legs are black with patches of brown. 4.8 – 5.1 cm (1.5 – 2 in) in females, not including leg span, with males being usually 2/3 smaller (less than 2.5 cm, 1 in). Named for yellow threads of their web shine like gold in sunlight not the color of the spider.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Various species of orb weaving spiders are widely distributed. They exist in the southern United States, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. Nephila madagascariensis madagascariensis is found on the island of Madagascar and certain parts of Southern Africa. 

Spinning web below

Golden Orb16121279421_89d739a11a_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Eat insects that get caught in their webs, primarily flying insects. They kill their prey with a venomous bite. While painful, a bite from this spider would not seriously hurt humans.

Golden Orb Weaver

LONGEVITY:: Females usually live about a year, and males about 6 mos.

REMARKS: Golden orb spiders weave large, strong webs out of golden-colored silk which can be as big as 2 m across. The silk strands are reputed to be five times stronger than steel and three times more elastic than Kevlar.
The oldest surviving genus of spiders, with a fossilized specimen known from 165 million years ago.

Rainforest, Madagascar


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California Academy of Sciences: Madagascar Golden Orb Spider exhibit 2014

 iNaturalist www.inaturalist.org/taxa/49758-Nephila

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