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Echiichthys vipera

(Cuvier, 1829)


David Wilson I was very surprised to catch this weaver fish whilst fishing for plaice in Poole Harbour. The substrate was mud in about 8m of water. Does anyone know which weaver this is?

Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/weever2.htm

Andrew Cleave Anglers used to catch these (Lesser Weever) at night off the sea wall at Dawlish and some got nasty stings in the darkness. Not sure if there are any recent records there.

David Wilson I have come across them on clean sand before but not on mud. This one was about12cm.

Andy Horton That's a really big one.

Douglas Herdson yes, Lesser Weever Echiichthys vipera. I always think of them from sandy beaches with a bit of surf. Has anyone else heard of them being caught from mud?

Andy Horton From aquarium study I would guess/surmise that mud/silt might be difficult for them to survive in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grain_size

Luke Richards Difficult for them to survive in being taken out of water and put on paper towels as well.

David Wilson You are right, paper towel would compromise the protective mucus. Unfortunately this one did not survive because it was damaged by swallowing a large hook.

John Mason Very common around here - if you trot a rig with small hooks and little squid strips along the sand off the jetty at Aberdyfi you can catch several at a time (not recommended!) - I did catch a potential Welsh record greater weever this year off the rocks at Borth but had eaten it before I realised. Very tasty!

David Wilson I don't like catching these mini-species as they invariably get damaged. I try to target something I can have for dinner.

Gareth Horton Found the first weever fish of the year off Shoreham/wide water. Seems quite early. And quite painful!!

Andy Horton Hearsay or personal experience? http://www.glaucus.org.uk/weever2.htm The pain. Describe in detail for the records please and how the unfortunate fish was trodden on!

David Wilson Two of my 3 children have been stung. Matt was sorting through a shrimp net at Salcombe and was stung on the thumb. Sophie jumped over the side of the boat at Shell Bay, Studland straight on to a weaver. Bathing the area in water as hot as you can bear and anti-histamines help.

Andy Horton Over 40 degrees C, which I think is half boiling water and half tepid water

Gareth Horton Thought I'd replied earlier so apologies. 2.5 feet of water and paddling with the dogs east of the wide water Shoreham. Just caught the ball of my foot behind my left big toe. Was much like stepping on glass or sharp mollusc. Pain was 6/10 for 45 minutes then subsided with waves of soreness all day. First sting for twenty odd years so not bad for a bloke in the sea nearly everyday. Risks are low clearly but glad it was me and not dogs or young son!

Andy Horton One of the BMLSS members did the science on temps. I translated it by sticking the thermometer in a cuppa tea.

Ronald Surgenor Heres a link to one of my weaver fish photos, they can be handled with care and touch wood I haven't been stung yet!! a guy gave a tip of warming a damp towel on the engine block of a boat/car to wrap around the stung area until you get access to proper medical treatment. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ronaldsurgenor/4920060501/

Andy Horton That looks like a large one. Weevers have fierce razor teeth and its lucky they are not bigger as they could do some damage and make the Jaws teeth look tame. Also biting parasites. Deaths are very rare.

Huan Tan They taste good.

Andy Horton Greater Weever seen on the fishmonger's slab

Andy Horton George D Moffat: off Sussex, local boats, not many.

Douglas Herdson Greater Weever also gets caught off Devon and especially Cornwall. Not often landed, but occasional quarter boxes, presumably go for fish soup.

Andy Horton One or two reports indicate the Greater Weever may have a greater sting: (Quote) I was stung on the tip of my right index finger by a Greater Weever three years ago in Tenerife. After spending four days in the local hospital in intense pain, with my whole arm swollen to the size of my thigh, I have lost the use of this finger: I cannot bend it nor straighten it, it is always cold to the touch and any slight scratches take five to six weeks to heal. (Alan Brady). This could be another species though ??? Scorpion Fish species comes to mind. NB: Lesser Weever stings can have the effects of being unable to move toes.

Andy Horton weever | wiv | n. E17. [Perh. transf. use of OFr. wivre serpent, dragon, var. of guivre f. L vipera VIPER.] More fully weever-fish. Any of various elongated NE Atlantic fishes of the genus Trachinus and family Trachinidae, which lie half buried in sand and have venomous dorsal and opercular spines with which they can inflict painful wounds; esp. (more fully lesser weever) T. vipera, which is common along European and Mediterranean coasts (also called viperfish). Also (Austral.), any of various sand perches of the family Mugiloididae. --------------------------------------------------------- Excerpted from The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia Developed by The Learning Company, Inc.

Andy Horton Echiichthys vipera http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=1364 PS: Going shrimping this morning

Penny Martin enjoy the shrimping ... you are up early !!

Andy Horton I could not get to sleep.

Andy Horton Ideal shrimping conditions, but just an average shrimp haul. Two small Weevers but not much else and no Slipper Soles (which is unusual).

Andy Horton 28 May 2012 A special shrimping trip to Lancing Beach (by Widewater) (with Dudley, & others) in ideal weather conditions (1.5 metre neap low tide) caught three pints of Brown Shrimps, Crangon crangon,between us, but there was not much else in the nets: frequent flatfish fry, two small Lesser Weever, Echiichthys vipera, one swimming crab Portumnus latipes with "fleur-de lis" markings, one Vernal Crab, Liocarcinus vernalis, one badly damaged (but still alive, it nipped me) Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus, a few large green Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas, and a small Plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, (or possibly a Flounder?).

Taxonomy
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Chordata (Phylum)
    Vertebrata (Subphylum)
      Gnathostomata (Superclass)
        Pisces (Superclass)
          Actinopterygii (Class)
            Perciformes (Order)
              Trachinidae (Family)
                Echiichthys (Genus)
                  Echiichthys vipera (Species)
Associated Species