The venoms of the lesser (Echiichthys vipera) and greater (Trachinus draco) weever fish– A review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In comparison with other animal venoms, fish venoms remain relatively understudied. This is especially true for that of the lesser Echiichthys vipera and greater weever fish Trachinus draco which, apart from the isolation of their unique venom cytolysins, trachinine and dracotoxin, respectively, remain relatively uncharacterised. Envenomation reports mainly include mild symptoms consisting of nociception and inflammation. However, like most fish venoms, if the venom becomes systemic it causes cardiorespiratory and blood pressure changes. Although T. draco venom has not been studied since the 1990's, recent studies on E. vipera venom have discovered novel cytotoxic components on human cancer cells, but due to the scarcity of research on the molecular make-up of the venom, the molecule(s) causing this cytotoxicity remains unknown. This review analyses past studies on E. vipera and T. draco venom, the methods used in the, the venom constituents characterised, the reported symptoms of envenomation and compares these findings with those from other venomous Scorpaeniformes.


  • Lucy M. Gorman
  • Sarah J. Judge
  • Myriam Fezai
  • Mohamed Jemaà
  • John B. Harris
  • Gary S. Caldwell
External organisations
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • University of Tübingen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Cytolytic, Dracotoxin, Echiichthys vipera, Trachinine, Trachinus draco, Weever fish venom
Original languageEnglish
Article number100025
JournalToxicon: X
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch