Greater weevers


Fig. 100. Weevers. (Zool.Dan.)

Greater weevers, Trachinus draco, can get up to 40 cm long and lives mainly in the North Sea and the Kattegat. A smaller species, the lesser weevers, Trachinus Vipera, only appears in the southern part of the North Sea in Denmark. Weevers are the only poisonous fish in Denmark. There are venom spines on the first dorsal fin and the gill covers. The venom is similar to viper venom. You can get stung by weevers when handling caught fish or during bathing you can accidentally step on weevers that are half buried in the sand in shallow waters.

Weever stings immediately cause severe pain that radiates from the puncture site. The pain can last for days and there may be complications of heart cramps, fever, etc. Weever venom can stop blood flow so the skin turns white around the place where the spines stung. Since there is no specific antidote, treatment is symptomatic, but the sting victim will recover. Always contact your GP in cases of weever stings.