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Lachesis muta

lachesis muta, lachesis muta homeopathic remedy
Lachesis muta is a venomous pit viper species found in South America including the island of Trinidad in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here[2]

Contents

  • 1 Description
  • 2 Common names
  • 3 Etymology
  • 4 Distribution and habitat
  • 5 Venom
  • 6 Diet
  • 7 Subspecies
  • 8 Taxonomy
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 External links

Description

Adults grow to an average of 2 to 25 m 6½-8 feet, although 3 m 10 feet is not too unusual The largest recorded specimen was almost 365 m 12 feet long, making this the largest of all vipers and the longest venomous snake in the western hemisphere[3] Lachesis muta is the third longest venomous snake in the world[citation needed] Weight in this species is estimated at 3 to 5 kg 66 to 110 lb, somewhat less than the heaviest rattlesnakes or Bitis vipers[citation needed]

The head is broad and distinct from the narrow neck The snout is broadly rounded There is no canthus A pair of small internasals is present, separated by small scales The supraoculars are narrow Other parts of the crown are covered with very small scales Laterally, the second supralabial forms the anterior border of the loreal pit, while the third is very large The eye is separated from the supralabials by 4-5 rows of small scales[4]

The body is cylindrical, tapered and moderately stout Midbody there are 31-37 nonoblique rows of dorsal scales which are heavily keeled with bulbous tubercles and feebly imbricate There are 200-230 ventral scales The tail is short with 32-50 mainly paired subcaudals, followed by 13-17 rows of small spines and a terminal spine[4] Like most New World pit vipers, Lachesis muta exhibits defensive tail vibration behavior in response to potential predatory threats [5]

The color pattern consists of a yellowish, reddish or grey-brown ground color, overlaid with a series of dark brown or black dorsal blotches that form lateral inverted triangles of the same color The lateral pa ttern may be precisely or indistinctly defined, normally pale at the center[3]

Common names

Known as the mapepire zanana or mapepire grande pronounced ma-pay-PEE za-Na-na or ma-paY-PEE GRAN-dey in Trinidad,[6][7] surucucú in the Amazon Basin surucucu in large part of Brazil, shushúpe in Peru, and pucarara in northern Bolivia In Venezuela the species is known as cuaima In Colombia it is known as verrugosa or verrugoso due to the warty look of its scales, and in Suriname as makasneki and makkaslang[8] It is also known as the Atlantic Forest bushmaster[9]

Etymology

Lachesis is one of the three Fates in Greek mythology and was supposed to assign to man his term of life—something this species is certainly capable of doing The species is similar in appearance to rattlesnakes and vibrates its tail vigorously when alarmed, but has no rattle and was therefore called mutus later muta, which is Latin for dumb or mute However, when in the undergrowth, the tail actually makes quite a loud rustling noise[10]

Distribution and habitat

Found in South America in the equatorial forests east of the Andes: Colombia, eastern Ecuador, Peru, northern Bolivia, eastern and southern Venezuela, the island of Trinidad in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,[7] Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and much of Brazil The type locality is "Surinami" Surinam[1] It occurs in primary and secondary forests; adjacent fields and cleared areas[3] In Trinidad it tends to prefer hilly and mountainous regions[11]

Venom

Lachesis muta muta in Ecuador

Some reports suggest that this species produces a large amount of venom that is weak compared to some other vipers[12] Others, however, suggest that such conclusions are not accurate These animals are badly affected by stress and rarely live long in captivity This makes it difficult to obtain venom in useful quantities and good condition for study purposes For example, Bolaños 1972 observed that venom yield from his specimens fell from 233 mg to 64 mg while they remained in his care As the stress of being milked regularly has this effect on venom yield, it is reasoned that it may also affect venom toxicity This may explain the disparity described by Hardy and Haad 1998 between the low laboratory toxicity of the venom and the high mortality rate of bite victims[13]

Brown 1973 gives the following LD50 values for mice: 15 mg/kg IV, 16–62 mg/kg IP, 60 mg/kg SC[further explanation needed] He also notes a venom yield of 200–411 mg[14]

Diet

Bushmasters prey primarily on rats and mice

Subspecies

Subspecies[2] Taxon author[2] Common name Geographic range[1]
Lachesis muta muta Linnaeus, 1766 South American bushmaster Colombia, eastern Ecuador, Peru, northern Bolivia, eastern and southern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and much of northern Brazil
Lachesis muta rhombeata Wied-Neuwied, 1824 Atlantic Forest bushmaster Coastal forests of southeastern Brazil from southern Rio Grande do Norte to Rio de Janeiro

Taxonomy

Two additional subspecies, L m melanocephala and L m stenophrys, had earlier been recognized However, both were elevated to species level by Zamudio and Green in 1997 see L melanocephala and L stenophrys[1]

See also

  • List of crotaline species and subspecies
  • Crotalinae by common name
  • Crotalinae by taxonomic synonyms
  • Snakebite

References

  1. ^ a b c d McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T 1999 Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1 Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League 511 pp ISBN 1-893777-00-6 series ISBN 1-893777-01-4 volume
  2. ^ a b c "Lachesis muta" Integrated Taxonomic Information System Retrieved 25 October 2006 
  3. ^ a b c Mehrtens JM 1987 Living Snakes of the World in Color New York: Sterling Publishers 480 pp ISBN 0-8069-6460-X
  4. ^ a b United States Navy 1991 Poisonous Snakes of the World New York: US Government / Dover Publications Inc 203 pp ISBN 0-486-26629-X
  5. ^ Allf, B C, Durst, P A, & Pfennig, D W 2016 Behavioral plasticity and the origins of novelty: the evolution of the rattlesnake rattle The American Naturalist, 1884, 475-483
  6. ^ Mendes, John 1986 Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary Arima, Trinidad p 95
  7. ^ a b "List of Snakes of Trinidad and Tobago" Archived 2006-08-08 at the Wayback Machine at Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Biodiversity Clearing House Archived 2012-12-21 at Archiveis Accessed 25 October 2006
  8. ^ Campbell JA, Lamar WW 2004 The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere 2 volumes Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates 870 pp 1,500 plates ISBN 0-8014-4141-2
  9. ^ Lang, Kirsty 6 October 2013 "Trying to save the heat-seeking Atlantic bushmaster" BBC News Retrieved 7 October 2013 
  10. ^ Gotch AF 1986 Reptiles — Their Latin Names Explained Poole, United Kingdom: Blandford Press 176 pp ISBN 0-7137-1704-1
  11. ^ Herklots GAC 1961 The Birds of Trinidad and Tobago London: Collins p 10
  12. ^ Lachesis muta, The Silent Fate at South American Pictures Accessed 26 October 2006
  13. ^ Ripa D 2001 "Bushmasters and the Heat Strike" at VenomousReptilesorg Accessed 26 October 2006
  14. ^ Brown JH 1973 Toxicology and Pharmacology of Venoms from Poisonous Snakes Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas 184 pp LCCCN 73-229 ISBN 0-398-02808-7

Further reading

  • Bolaños R 1972 "Toxicity of Costa Rican snake venoms for the white mouse" American Jour Trop Med Hyg 21: 360-363
  • Hardy DL Sr, Haad JJS 1998 "A review of venom toxinology and epidemiology of envenoming of the bushmaster Lachesis with report of a fatal bite" Bull Chicago Herp Soc 336: 113-123
  • Linnaeus C 1766 Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis Tomus I Editio Duodecima, Reformata Stockholm: L Salvius 532 pp Crotalus mutus, new species, p 373 in Latin
  • O'Shea M 2005 Venomous Snakes of the World Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press 160 pp ISBN 0-691-12436-1
  • Zamudio KR, Greene HW 1997 "Phylogeography of the bushmaster Lachesis muta: Viperidae: implications for neotropical biogeography, systematics and conservation" Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 62: 421-442 PDF at Cornell University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Accessed 26 October 2006

External links

  • Lachesis muta at the Reptariumcz Reptile Database Accessed 12 December 2007
  • Ripa Ecologica Accessed 26 October 2006

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