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Kingsnakes impervious to other snake venom?

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Palaeomike, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. Palaeomike

    Palaeomike Elite Member

    I've heard a rumor that Kingsnakes are impervious to the effects of other snake venom (ie. from a rattlesnake). I've tried to find info on the subject via scientific papers and Google, but to no avail. Anybody out there that can back up this rumor and possible direct me to the source that has proven/disproven it? Thanks alot.
  2. aztec4mia

    aztec4mia Elite Member

    i'm not sure that they are impervious to it as much as they have a higher tolerence for it, they can take some bites from a rattle snake pretty easily, thats a good question. i dont know if this has any scientific proof on it but here is a link that talks about it.
  3. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Hmmm...different web sites say various things...

    I found the statement that they are immune to venom on the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium web site: Facts/KingSnake.htm

    and the Fresno Chaffee Zoo web site says they're "highly resistant to the venom of pit vipers" :

    National Geographic has a photo of a scarlet king with the information that they are "very resistant to rattlesnake venom":

    Without seeing actual documented evidence as to the degree of resistance or immunity, I would lean toward thinking that they are more likely to be resistant than totally immune...
  4. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    In class I've watched several films of California Kings(specifically) Lampropeltis getulus californiae eating atrox, viridis, cerastes, and scutulatus. Never once did I see the buzz worms try defending themselves, so other than hearsay, I have no idea.

    I also never witnessed or heard all Lampropeltis eating venomous snakes, so I wonder if one is by chance immune, are all?

    Curious thoughts.. Someone grab some needles, kings, and noisemaker venom.
  5. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    i have read a paper on the immunity of rattlers to their own species venom.... they died. Not that this helps much but thought i will throw it in there
  6. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

  7. MRHickey

    MRHickey Elite Member

    In my studies with marine life, and other herps, I have heard of species tolerating venom, and metabolizing venom with minimal issues, but as far as being totally immune, I have never heard that. People always confuse tolerance with immunity.

    I think it is like a bee sting to a person, some people tolerate it, others could die from it, but no one is immune to it. It could also be the same as the shots people get to develop the ability to fight disease. You aren't immune to the disease after you get the shot, your body just knows how to beat it into submission and gradually fight it off after dealing with weakened or dead strains of the disease

    I will have to do some digging. I'll see what I can turn up.
  8. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    I'm 'immune' to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

    I'm aware that people gain and lose immunity (as stated in health books) but would that really be immunity or simply a tolerance?
  9. Palaeomike

    Palaeomike Elite Member

    First off, Poison is different than venom.

    Secondly, if a Snake is bitten by a venomous snake, they would die unless they have an innate ability (in the form of antibodies) to nullify venom. Therefore, I'd say that it's an evolutionary response to eating other snakes, which includes venomous snakes.

    I do appreciate your input on the analogy to disease, MRHicky. I realize that I did make the mistake of stating that Lampropeltis may have been impervious; rather they may be (more) tolerant to other snake vemon. I'm a bit skeptical on the suggestion that the snake may be resistant in the same way a human is affected differently by a bee sting (depending on the person or in the snakes case, different individuals of the same species); unless there is an authority that states otherwise.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't know about immunity to a bite delivered venom but since they regularly injest the venom in the practice of consuming venomous snakes it wouldn't surprise me.
  11. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Yes; I was just blithering nonsense about the perception I stated before with the "If one is immune are all?" I was also following up MrHickey in terms of the same.. On venom.

    I suppose I should have tied it in, I forget how quick people are to express their differences.
  12. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    hi there... generally snake venom is not dangerous when consumed, that is why it is not considered a poison. A creature(reptile, human, bird etc.) can ingest venom with no harmful effects wether immune or not.

    This one incident is not scientific proof i know but i have swallowed snake venom accidentally when dealing with a spitting cobra. Other than the bad bitter harm done. HEY! but by no means does this mean go tasting venom! I would never intentionally ingest venom.
  13. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Also make note not to have any sores in your mouth and so forth. I hear the symptoms are swelling, pain and often death. ..heh.

    That's why I always wore a face sheild when messing with my pallidas and black necks instead of just goggles.
  14. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    yeah for sure! any open skin etc. will allow venom into your system... haha on that paticular occasion i just had my sunglasses lol. Not fun....but most of the time you can direct venom spray away from your face with foot distractions etc... but alas that is for another thread. Don't want to go off topic as usual :p
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