View Full Version : Bristle nose defense.....
09-29-2004, 05:12 PM
OUCH...I found out the hard way that Bristle nose plecos have the ability to force spines out from behind their operculum (gill plates...)...these spines hurt like hell, and feel mildly venomous...
Can Rudy (or any other catfish fan) have any info on this little defense mechanism?....anotomical descriptions, what is it called....is it poisonous? etc....
09-29-2004, 07:26 PM
many catfish do have poison in their spines... never even thought about plecos having it though!
09-29-2004, 07:38 PM
Don't know about poison but had two males in a tank who were fighting non stop with each other. They do head to head combat with those things and swing their heads at each other. I had to seperate mine because they were constantly at each other. The male that I moved caught his spines in the net and I had a hard time getting him untangled. Luckly no damage to him.
09-29-2004, 08:44 PM
I haven't heard of Bristlenose having venomous stings but am doing some research to see if I can find out for you.
Having said that, it is possible the burning might be an infection from the slime. Keep an eye on it mate, & go straight to the Docs if you see swelling, redness &/or most importantly a dark line starting to show moving up your arm.
Couple of years ago I pricked my finger & it actually nicked the tendon sheath inside & an infection set in in the tendon sheath & turned to blood poisoning. Went to the hospital a couple of days after I nicked it & they're like "your fingers infected", I'm like "no kidding my finger is swollen & I can't move it, it sure isn't a cold". They gave me a tetanus shot & sent me home. A couple of days after that I had lost the movement of my hand & had a black line running up my arm to my armpit. Went to the Doc, he sent me straight to emergency at the hospital (different one) & they operated that afternoon. Turns out I had severe blood poisoning & the line up my arm was actually the toxins moving up a vein & it had reached the armpit glands by the time they operated. They told me the next day that had it reached my heart (in about 24hours time) I woulda been cactus!
So yeah, keep an eye on it mate.:D
09-29-2004, 08:46 PM
Ooh wow...that's a heck of stick you got there Barra, what was it that got you?....Mine's healing...it just throbs a bit...
Like someone else here once said...."Everything in OZ can kill ya!"
Most Catfish have a defense mechanism of some sort. If it isn't armour, it is usually sharp spines in their pectoral and dorsal fins. These can inflict painful wound however with a pleco I imagine it is quite mild. They do however have venom cells in the skin covering these spines.
You can always use a very effective method of controlling the venom. That would be to have a friend of yours pee on it......wait that is a jellyfish.
In all honesty if you are not having an extreme allergic reation to the venom you will be fine.
09-29-2004, 08:57 PM
Thanks Rudy...I'm not too worried about my self...I was just curious about this particular defense mechanism....How is that they can force them out so strongly? Where do they go? Are they usually inverted? I'm used to the spines being in the normal places (the fins...) but was quite shocked to get stuck from behind the gill plate....
09-29-2004, 09:09 PM
As I understand it the spines lay flat against the body till the B/noes "flares" it's gills out, it then thrashes it's head from side to side using water, or in your case your hand, for leverage.
Re my close call, was just a pair of scissors. No "nasties" but they musta needed a wash!
I am sure it is a defense mechanism against getting eaten as they all have them. It does however seem strange though as many of the fish I have had eat a catfish, or loach will die from this. I had a dovii that I had to pry a hemibagrus out of his mouth with pliers.
As far as the anatomy I will do some snooping. I assume that they are covered, however are always there, but can't tell you for sure. I have had more encounters with cats then anything else.
09-29-2004, 09:15 PM
Thanks Rudy...I've taken a few sticks from the "whites" and "channels" out here, and they are always nasty wounds...(but at least I can see those spines coming!)...The worst is when you have about a 4-6 inch juvenile twisting on a line and no rag in sight....gotta watch those little suckers...
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