Stiletto snake - Sypikslang




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  1. #1
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    Default Stiletto snake - Sypikslang

    Anybody got some pictures of this snake. I'm very interested in it's sideways striking action. Never seen one, but apparently it can cause some rather nasty tissue damage and even loss of limb.

    How are the fangs positioned to strike "sideways"
    Sakkie Coetzee

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    This is one nasty bugger of a snake.
    Most snakes you can catch and hold by gripping it (from behind) around the head.
    The stiletto has the uncanny ability to actually, even if gripped securely, to turn it's head and deliver a nasty bite to the hand.

    It has the ability to bite without having to open it's mouth. The fangs are physically extended outside the mouth, hence the "stabbing" reference.
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    Is it true that people have lost limbs as a result of this guy's bite?
    Apparently nasty tissue attack!!
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

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    A friend of mine got bitten by a small Stiletto snake on a farm near Hamanskraal,he picked it up like he has done before with other snakes and it still bit him on the finger.Spend a week or so in hospital and had to get a skin transplant on his finger later on.

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    I'm sending these pictures to him so he can see what could have happened.

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    I love snakes... but that bite seems nasty! Don't wanna have this thing biting me on the leg...

  7. #7
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    Default Stiletto bite

    This is an old thread, but today its relevant. This morning a guy here on the mine in North Western Zambia was bitten on the hand by a Stiletto, he put his hand down to take a pic of a frog and didn't see the snake. I suppose the snake was stalking the froggie? Anyway, he got nailed in the palm.

    Attached is a pic of his hand just 1 hour after the bite. I did take pics of the snake, but they didn't come out very clear on the BB camera. The snake was positively ID'd as the stiletto however.



    He is on a plane to SA as I type this, and the snake too, still very much alive and very peeved at being placed in a bucket with a lid. Sending the snake back with the patient just so that the guys in SA are also sure what snake it is.

    I'll try to see if I can get more info and/or pics as the wound develops, but won't hold my breath.
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    During a snake handling course I went to a few years ago they explained that the name was derived from the tail which has a very sharp point to it.

    The Pretoria and surrounding area is notorious for these nasties.
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    Cytotoxic venom, attracts the skin tissue.

    The snake doesn't bite as such (obviously it can),

    but rather let you handle it in the same way one normally would handle a hot snake by securely holding the head between the thumb, and first finger.

    The snake then reverse, whilst the fangs stick out from the sides of the mouth.

    The only snake in SA that CAN'T be handled safely by hand.
    Gunter Steyn



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    Stilleto snakes are the most difficult to handle, hooking and tailing is risky, so tongs would probably be an easier and painless method.. They have a nasty habit of swiping sideways at you, more than forwards, and thats where you get nailed by those oddly positioned fangs... real Nasty venom as well!
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    Nasty innocuous little *&^&%^$#$ No anti venom available but lots of cortisone and a prophylactic antibiotic should do the trick! Pulled one patient through this way, the guy went back to work the next day, not like in the movies

    Mostly cytotoxic so it can cause severe tissue damage, know of another patient that almost lost his arm after a Stiletto bite.
    What a life!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quack View Post
    Nasty innocuous little *&^&%^$#$ No anti venom available but lots of cortisone and a prophylactic antibiotic should do the trick! Pulled one patient through this way, the guy went back to work the next day, not like in the movies
    .
    Quack, are you a Medical Professional?
    If so, the Cortisone I think helped me when I got bitten, it was a very mild Green mamba bite, but displayed some symptoms, and didnt need any anti venom... I experienced some symptoms 20 minutes after the bite that lasted for about 20 minutes. then swelling on my hand... for 3 days
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    Eina... Almost got nailed by one of those during a field assessment last year. Luckily the fang only got me on my thumb nail... Since then I steer well clear of them...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mielie 84 View Post
    Eina... Almost got nailed by one of those during a field assessment last year. Luckily the fang only got me on my thumb nail... Since then I steer well clear of them...
    That's when your blood gets COLD!!!

    A buddy of mine handled a puff adder a few years back, lost his concentration for a second, and the adder went for his finger.....

    (Can't remember which finger it was), but the fang missed the finger on BOTH sides!! With his finger in he snakes mouth.

    Needless to say, he needed a new pair of pants!!
    Gunter Steyn



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    This is one snake you don't handle.
    Ask me, I did and nearly lost a finger.

    This is a very painful bite. Spent one week in hospital the first two days on Morphine. Had to sleep sitting up, with my arm above my head so that the poison dispersed along my arm.

    They look like a blind worm, what confused me was that the two fang marks were wider than it's head. I won't handle a Stiletto again. In a reference book I have for snakes it states " If you handle this snake you WILL get bitten"

  16. #16
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    Had this very same snake on "I've been Bitten" (or something like that) the other night and those first pic's on this thread look as if they came straight off the program.

    Anyhow the snake is capable of the "sideways" bite for sure.

    Two things I remember are the speed at which this guys thumb deteriorated and the excruciating pain he went through in the early stages of the process.

    He mentioned that he had recurring pain years after the incident.

    I'm no snake man, just recounting the program. Scary stuff!

  17. #17
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    Don't think I have ever seen one of these before.



    Identifying snakes is most probably the worst part of my 4x4 and/or over-landing experience. But is surely does help to know what you are faced with and how to handle the situation.
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    My biggest problem with snakes are that some can be mistaken for others. Like the egg eater and the night adder - very close, but you need to really know the snakes to tell the difference.

    So, unless you can see the fangs sticking out, I will most probably confuse it with a mole snake.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elroy View Post
    Quack, are you a Medical Professional?
    If so, the Cortisone I think helped me when I got bitten, it was a very mild Green mamba bite, but displayed some symptoms, and didnt need any anti venom... I experienced some symptoms 20 minutes after the bite that lasted for about 20 minutes. then swelling on my hand... for 3 days
    Yes I am. In my medical opinion there is no such thing a a mild mamba bite!!!!
    What a life!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Kotze View Post
    Don't think I have ever seen one of these before.



    Identifying snakes is most probably the worst part of my 4x4 and/or over-landing experience. But is surely does help to know what you are faced with and how to handle the situation.
    I know very well how to handle any and every snake situation.........RUN!
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