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Two case reports of local envenoming by the Spotted grass snake, Psammophylax rhombeatus (Linnæus, 1758) (Serpentes, Psammophiidae)

Abstract : Two cases of bites by a South African psammophiid snake, Psammophylax rhombeatus, are described and analyzed. These are the first detailed reports of local envenoming by a Psammophylax spp. While handling a wild-collected 1 m P. rhombeatus, the snake inflicted a protracted bite proximal to the metacarpophalangeal joint of digit #5, left hand of a 24−year-old male amateur herpetologist. Local edema persisted for three days, but no pain or other signs or symptoms including non-specific autonomic effects (e.g. headache, nausea) occurred. In a second case, a 28−year-old male herpetologist-photographer was repositioning a 0.58 m female P. rhombeatus in order to photograph the snake and her egg clutch, when the snake bit the metacarpophalangeal joint of digit #5, left hand, and briefly advanced its jaws. The bite caused mild local pain, progressive edema of the left hand, and arthralgia; resolution required almost 1 week. Bites from non-front-fanged snakes such as these by P. rhombeatus are uncommonly reported in comparison with those described for front-fanged snakes (e.g. Viperidae, Elapidae). Therefore, documentation of bites even with minimal effects provides information essential for the construction of an accurate medical risk profile for these less-known species.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 1:58:00 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:28:08 AM

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Ivan Ineich, Francis Girard, Tyrone Ping, Jordy Reynes, Scott Weinstein. Two case reports of local envenoming by the Spotted grass snake, Psammophylax rhombeatus (Linnæus, 1758) (Serpentes, Psammophiidae). Toxicon, Elsevier, 2021, 195, pp.24-28. ⟨10.1016/j.toxicon.2021.02.013⟩. ⟨hal-03273641⟩

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