A Dumb Question?

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dthor68
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A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 8th, 2014, 9:33 am

Are Timber Rattlesnakes immune to their own venom? I found a rattlesnake this morning, while getting him situated for photos he bit his tail. I have never seen this happen before. In fact this is the first time I have ever got a Timber Rattlesnake to strike period. I am not sure if the bite was wet but there was definitely a little blood from the puncture. I did spend about 15 minutes with him and when photo session was done he crawled away just fine. I know their venom is more effective on warm blooded mammals but still a little worried.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 8th, 2014, 10:06 am

Rattlesnakes are immune to their own venom. Usually they are fine after biting themselves. It is disconcerting to see but not usually a problem.

I try to avoid working with snakes that are really revved up and hot. They seem to be the ones most likely to bite and strike like that.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 8th, 2014, 11:32 am

Thanks Bryan. Had I know he would get that hot I would have let it be. I am just so use to their mild nature.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 8th, 2014, 12:46 pm

They are usually mellow huh? I'm always a little surprised to see a rattlesnake strike. It seems to be the exception even when they are provoked.

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Tim Borski
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Tim Borski » May 9th, 2014, 3:38 pm

Rattlesnakes are immune to their own venom.
Thanks Bryan, I've always wondered that about our local Coral snakes. I've seen several bite themselves and was curious. Here's another Q I posted a long time ago but don't think I ever got a reply: If two Corals encounter each other and one is in eating mode...does it simply over power the other individual or does it's venom actually work on it? (I'm assuming the attacked individual will defend itself and bite back...do you feel it's venom would do harm?)

To the OP, I don't think this is a dumb question at all and I'm curious also.

Tim

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 9th, 2014, 4:00 pm

Hi Tim,

I'm not sure about corals but copperheads are not immune to their own venom. There seems to be a lot of variability.

Corals would be interesting since their venom targets other snakes.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 9th, 2014, 4:55 pm

According to Coral Snakes of the Americas: Biology, Identification and Venoms, coral snakes are not immune to their own venom. Coral snakes succumb to self-biting and cannibalism.

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Tim Borski
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Tim Borski » May 9th, 2014, 6:16 pm

Thanks Bryan!

Tim

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Antonsrkn
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Antonsrkn » May 9th, 2014, 9:22 pm

There is a video somewhere of a male king cobra that eats a large female king cobra, I seem to remember her dying from the venom after getting bitten. Perhaps ophiophagous snakes such as King cobras and Coral snakes have a venom more geared towards taking out other snakes and thus are not immune to it. I dont know, but its an idea.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 10th, 2014, 5:53 am

I guess it is not a dumb question. You would think that the instant that it bit itself it would realize the mistake it made and not inject the venom. And, if kingsnakes are immune than surly the snake that carries the venom should also be. Coral Snakes are another story. I could not imagine a Coral Snake surviving a self-biting.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 10th, 2014, 6:04 am

Here is the snake in question: Although it looks like a low country Canebreak, it was found in the mountains!

Image

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by BethH » May 11th, 2014, 1:28 pm

dthor68 wrote:Here is the snake in question: Although it looks like a low country Canebreak, it was found in the mountains!
What about its looks makes you say it looks like a Canebreak? (Sorry if that's a really easy question.)

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 11th, 2014, 1:44 pm

BethH wrote:What about its looks makes you say it looks like a Canebreak? (Sorry if that's a really easy question.)
Canebrake (Crotalus horridus atricaudatus) has gone away as a subspecies but I agree it has some canebrake like characters.

Longitudinal stripe on its back, eye stripe and the ruddy color give it a canebrakish look.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by BethH » May 11th, 2014, 3:00 pm

Thank you for the explanation.

Beth

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 13th, 2014, 12:14 pm

Beth, what Brian said. The Timber Phase always has a solid colored face , tan to black, with no stripe or a VERY faint stripe. And, the rusty colored stripe down the backbone is absent or less distinct in the Timber Phase. In the spot where I found this snake I have also seen the silver Canebreak Phase and the common yellow Timber Phase. Of the eight snakes I have found there, not one has looked the same. When ever I find a rattler in that area I look back at other pictures to see if I had seen it before. I guess DNA is the reason that they are all considered the Timber Rattlesnake now? However, as far as "Phases" go, this is definitely the point of intergradation.

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Re: An interesting Question?

Post by regalringneck » May 13th, 2014, 1:00 pm

... some good stuff & potential in this thread, TimB, I like your ?'s & seeing you're in Fl... suggest you're in position to test them. A buddy of mine has a jpg of a M. diastema; corale w/ another of its own sps. protruding from its DoR ventral. Problem is, ive seen corales swallow ophidian prey before it was dead.
For the record, several notes i have indicate regalis venom neither effects themselves nor other regalis, even long sustained bites (lesson learned for the umpteenth time; dont feed snakes 2gether).
I maintained at ASU, a display of C. lepidus, back then, we fed em live mice ... a feeding bite went into the head of a cagemate, the poor thing was poleaxed & remained that way for several weeks or maybe it was months, i kept it quiet & moist, and finally it returned to feeding & acting as normal.
I've heard cobras too can bite themselves, yet some eat other cobras ???

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Tim Borski
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Re: An interesting Question?

Post by Tim Borski » May 13th, 2014, 5:27 pm

regalringneck wrote:... some good stuff & potential in this thread, TimB, I like your ?'s & seeing you're in Fl... suggest you're in position to test them. A buddy of mine has a jpg of a M. diastema; corale w/ another of its own sps. protruding from its DoR ventral. Problem is, ive seen corales swallow ophidian prey before it was dead.
For the record, several notes i have indicate regalis venom neither effects themselves nor other regalis, even long sustained bites (lesson learned for the umpteenth time; dont feed snakes 2gether).
I maintained at ASU, a display of C. lepidus, back then, we fed em live mice ... a feeding bite went into the head of a cagemate, the poor thing was poleaxed & remained that way for several weeks or maybe it was months, i kept it quiet & moist, and finally it returned to feeding & acting as normal.
I've heard cobras too can bite themselves, yet some eat other cobras ???

Regal, I'm curious because I once encountered an Eastern Coral (M. fulvius fulvius) consuming another one. Both appeared to be of similar size and I assume the defeated one bit the aggressor in self defense(?) I was curious as to how their venom would affect each other or if it was simply a matter of one being hungrier than the other and overpowering it.

I agree, this could be an intriguing thread.

Tim

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by Antonsrkn » May 13th, 2014, 5:58 pm

Antonsrkn wrote:There is a video somewhere of a male king cobra that eats a large female king cobra, I seem to remember her dying from the venom after getting bitten. ....
I've heard cobras too can bite themselves, yet some eat other cobras ???
Couldnt find the original video I was thinking of but searching keywords, got me this snippet of it. A male king cobra eats a female king cobra. The narrator says the cobra is not fully immune to its own venom, but considering how often misinformation is thrown out about herps I'm not sure what to think.

Here is the vid, original source looks to be Nat geo, maybe I saw it on their site and thats why I cant find the full vid on youtube?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igq4LjUsFk0

Anyways the male bites the female and it takes 45 minutes for her to die with him gnawing on her the whole time. Did the venom play a significant role or did he just overpower her, I dont know, im not convinced one way or another. The footage is pretty intense one way or another and may shed some light on it.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by dthor68 » May 14th, 2014, 3:21 am

Antonsrkn wrote:
Antonsrkn wrote:There is a video somewhere of a male king cobra that eats a large female king cobra, I seem to remember her dying from the venom after getting bitten. ....
I've heard cobras too can bite themselves, yet some eat other cobras ???
Couldnt find the original video I was thinking of but searching keywords, got me this snippet of it. A male king cobra eats a female king cobra. The narrator says the cobra is not fully immune to its own venom, but considering how often misinformation is thrown out about herps I'm not sure what to think.

Here is the vid, original source looks to be Nat geo, maybe I saw it on their site and thats why I cant find the full vid on youtube?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igq4LjUsFk0

Anyways the male bites the female and it takes 45 minutes for her to die with him gnawing on her the whole time. Did the venom play a significant role or did he just overpower her, I dont know, im not convinced one way or another. The footage is pretty intense one way or another and may shed some light on it.
Antonsrkn, that was a National Geographic special called "Secrets of the King Cobra". I highly recommend watching that in HD. It has some of the best videography I have ever seen.

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by hellihooks » May 14th, 2014, 5:40 am

I had a helleri bite a ruber, and while there wasn't much swelling... the bite site became necrotic and the ruber died. Not sure what that says...cept perhaps immunity only applies to members of the same species? jim

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Re: A Dumb Question?

Post by M Wolverton » May 14th, 2014, 8:55 am

I made the mistake of storing an atrox and a mitchelli in the same bucket once. Dead mitchelli.

For years I kept an oreganus, several lutosis, and a viridis in the same tank. Lutosus would swell a little from viridis bites, but for only a day or so, they were fine. Oreganus appeared entirely unaffected. These were clearly feeding responses, so definitely venom involved. The viridis was unaffected by it's own venom.

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