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Milking boomslang

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Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:05 pm

Some pics from a shoot this weekended

we successfully milked boomslang and stilettos :)

more news soon

don
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby steve » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:47 pm

sheew awesome stuff.
Thanks for sharing
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Pythonodipsas » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:02 pm

Nice Don,

That boomslang in the last pic has unusually rough skin. They should reclassify it as Dispholidus horridum. :) ;)

Seriously, How much venom did you get from the boomslang in a single sitting?
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:50 pm

we milked many animals including the Heloderma horridum

Aspidelaps (4 species), Micurus (2 species), Atractaspis (2 species), Madagascarophis, Clelia, and the horridum

We tried a new drug protocol that had mixed results, I was happy that i was able to milk A.bibronii with no sedation.

Boomslang produced about 2ul, enough to see, and about 1/10th of what we were getting from the Micurus. Considering that 0.012ul is supposed to be fatal to humans, its a significant amount. The boomslang was milked with the aid of drugs

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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Pythonodipsas » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:01 pm

I was happy that i was able to milk A.bibronii with no sedation
I would also prefer to be sober if I had to milk these. :) These must have been interesting to milk. I wouldn't have a clue as to how. Did you use the glove of power? A pipette? Please expalin how you did this.

The boomslang was milked with the aid of drugs
Does this mean you Anaesthetised the snake?
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:15 pm

We used a combination of things on all animals... testing this drug as the precursor to field implantation of telemetry units in black mambas that we will attempt in December

Atractaspis was just GOP and pipette.

The main drug that was used is a sedation/analgesic... but its a refined form of a pre-existing drug that has just hit the market and never been used in reptiles that know of. Interesting this is that it is highly species dependent.... the Aspidelaps were very sensitive to it, losing righting response at just 80ug/kg, whereas the Micrurus we went as high as 240ug/kg with another tranquilizer, and it did nothing to them.

Once we have more data, we will publish and i will throw a copy up here

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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Pythonodipsas » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:17 pm

Very interesting times for you Don. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:21 pm

as you can see from the set and the cameras (up to 7 at some points), we filmed everything... so we will cut together a video on the drug, the venoms we are working with, the technique and all that very soon. Will post when it is up.

We also have the large stilettos (A.fallax) shattering glass pipettes with their fangs!!

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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Bushviper » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:27 pm

It would be interesting to compare the venoms between sedated and non-sedated animals. Apparently venom that has been expressed is different to venom produced when just a strike is collected. I have no idea if this is the truth or not.

What was the venom being collected for?
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:37 pm

Venom research into composition and variation, and sequencing the mRNA and then cDNA of venoms

I don't think there has been a difference of venom type between defensive and predatory strikes documented, but volume certainly does.

The difference of sedated animals i believe will only be yield, I am using a drug that increases excretions and i have the Aspidelaps drooling venom down my arms, huge amounts!!
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Bushviper » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:41 pm

I remember John Visser telling me many years ago that he needed Atractaspis venom that he milked straight into liquid nitrogen to preserve it. The snakes were not allowed to be sedated or expressed. This had to be done "hot'. I rather sent him the snakes so that he could carry on. The french were doing research into the cytotoxins for some cancer research. What came of that I have no idea although seeing as the cure is not available I guess it did not work.
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:10 pm

sedation and expressing are non factors in my opinion unless you are trying to figure out a normal yield, which can be so variable and which is of no use to us. The advantage of using the method that i am trying to develop is that you can milk the animal and save it, rather than the previous option, which is killing it, and squeezing venom from its glands.

The liquid nitrogen is true, see pic

Image

The interest is not so much the cytotoxins, but the sarafotoxins and other novel toxins unique to Atractaspis, like bibrotoxin. I have some Macrelaps that will be milked soon as well, to be analyzed at the same time. The other members of Atractaspididae are also of interest and Devon has been getting samples from things like Homorselaps and Apparalactus.. for a number of reasons, more to follow

Also, venom glands on a 60cm A.fallax were just on 20cm!!

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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Bushviper » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:13 pm

Wow so the Causus now have to take a back seat when it comes to the longest venom glands in Africa. Never underestimate an African when it comes to length of organs.
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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby DonaldSchultz » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:08 pm

ok, here are some more pics from that shoot... thanks to Dave Northcott for the awesome photos

[url=http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e14/donalds4/BeadedLizardEXT.jpg]Image
here you can see that the venom from a beaded comes from the top jaw as well. This is interesting cos Bryan Fry has just finished a paper on heloderma (out soon, its freaking awesome) and in there he speculated that the venom gets wooshed around the mouth and introduced by top and bottom teeth, as both sets are heavily grooved. Here you can see venom coming from bottom jaw and top, and that is venom for sure, straw coloured etc

Image
Milking A.bibronii without sedation

Image
Atractaspis fallax fangs
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Atractaspis showing size of venom glands compared to the head


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Re: Milking boomslang

Postby Pythonodipsas » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:12 pm

Wow, very interesting. Those fallax glands are stupidly big! Was this ever known? I wonder if any of the other large Atractaspis have enlarged glands.
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