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Old 01-12-17, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Genus Spalerosophis toxicity.

I thought that genus Spalerosophis snakes (the Diadem snakes) were mildly venomous, but I'm not sure anymore. Some people seem to be saying they are non-venomous. On top of that, CTR (Clinical Toxinology Resources) lists them as non-venomous.

I would like to know if they are indeed non-venomous.

If they are mildly venomous, what sort of reaction would you expect from a bite?

Two particular species that I would like to know about are Spalerosophis diadema and Spalerosophis arenarius.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-12-17, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Genus Spalerosophis toxicity.

Spalerosophis are indeed mildly venomous, but generally considered harmless to people. Spalerosophis are opisthoglyphous, that is to say they have enlarged, groves fangs located at the back of the jaw, and these fangs are connected to a Duvernoy’s gland, which is the gland that produces venom in Colubrids. I linked a few papers below, the first two are studies performed on the toxicity of venomous Colubrids, both include S. diadema. The third paper investigates morphological features of Spalerosophis, including dention. I haven't been able to find much information on the effects of Spalerosophis venom on humans. Since this is a bit of an unknown I would suggest caution when handling them, particularly to avoid feeding response bites from captive specimens, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. The delivery method is poor, and the yield low, so the odds of a serious envenomation is very low, as long as you don't allow the animal to chew on you.

Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Colubrid Snake Venoms (Mackessy, 2002)

Properties of Duvernoy’s Secretions from Opisthoglyphous and Aglyphous Colubrid Snakes (Einstein & Kardong, 1994)

Relationships of the snake genera Pythonodipsas Günther and Spalerosophis Jan (Reptilia, Colubridae) (Schätti & McCarthy, 1987)
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Old 01-13-17, 12:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Genus Spalerosophis toxicity.

I keep and breed these snakes. The adults rarely bite but the neonates bite all the time. The bites are no different than from say a ratsnake. Completely harmless to humans.
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