RE: NANFA-L-- brindled madtom potency

Crail, Todd (tcrail at UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Tue, 27 Sep 2005 22:29:21 -0400


While I can only provide my "first hand" anecdote of species found in Ohio (I
think Chris' post are your best leads), but have earned the dubious title of
"Multi-species Master Angler - Noturid Sting Division"... I can say with
little doubt that I respond the worst to tadpole madtoms, regardless of size.
Brindled and northern are itchy burny kinds of stings like you've described
(not had the pleasure of seeing a mountain madtom in the field). The two
tadpole envenominations that I've experienced left me nauseated for about an
hour and my joints in the stung arm ached for about 3 hours. One was the size
of my fingernail, so I'm not sure that size matters... It may be a similar
situation where some juvenile snakes are more deadly than adults because they
deliver all of their payload on the first strike.

The extra reactivity may be a direct result of one of the reasons I've been
stung so frequently - I have a horrible allergy to coral and jellyfish
(cnidaria) stings from farming coral (which may also explain my violent
reaction), and am more prone to puncture as the allergy has left the skin on
my hands quite thin and brittle. Package that with the other part about where
I feel the need to handle and examine the adipose fin of every "patched
colored" Noturid in Ohio to assure identification, and I get stung frequently.
I'm pretty much done bothering to handle gyrinus. I may be an idiot... but
I'm not stupid :)

I've also been hit by a speckled madtom down in the Coosa. That wasn't very
painful at all. Much like the sting from a YOY bullhead which may just be a
reaction to tissue infection more than venom.

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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