Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Bothrops lanceolatus

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    Bothrops jararaca, urutu, Lachesis lanceolatus

    Etymology

    All have been referred to as fer-de-lance in the English literature. The name was first coined by an 18th century French herpetologist for B. lanceolatus, and means "lance iron (point)" in French, presumably an allusion to the sharply triangular head. Incidentally, on Martinique, this snake is never called "fer-de-lance".
    Lanceolatus refers to the flat v-shaped head which looks like a lance.

    Family

    Traditional name

    Italian: Ferro di lancia
    English: Yellow Viper
    German: Gelbe Viper
    French: Vipera Jaune; fer-de-lance

    Used parts

    Solution of venom in glycerine

    Classification

    Animalia; Chordata / Vertebrata - Vertebrates; Reptilia - Reptiles; Serpentes - Snakes; Crotalidae

    Keywords

    snake
    reptile
    (some information from Mitchell A. Fleisher)

    Original proving

    Introduced by Dr. Ch. Ozanam, L'Art. Med., 19, 116 (A collection of 15 cases, along with general observations on the effect of the bite, quoted from Dr. Rufz, "Enquête sur le serpent de la Martinique"). In TF Allen's Encyclopedia.

    Description of the substance

    The genus Bothrops is a large genus of South American pit-vipers, with 31 recognized species, one (B.asper) with range extending north into Central America as far as northern Mexico. Many Bothrops species are known regionally as "fer-de-lace", or lance-headed vipers, due to the distinctive lance-point shape of the head; but although Lacepede used this name in his description of B.lanceolatus, it has never been in use locally in Martinique.

    B.lanceolatus is present only on the island of Martinique, in 2 isolated populations confined to humid upland regions in the northern and southern portions of the island. It is the only venomous snake found on Martinique. It resides in tropical wet & moist forest, and is semi-arboreal, found in trees as high as 20m above the ground. One of the largest of the Bothrops species, an average adult is 1.5m (5') long, and specimens may exceed 2m (6.5'). As with all Bothrops species, there is considerable variation in color, with the dorsal background color varying from gray to brown to yellowish-tan (the "yellow viper" of Ozanam's description); dorsal markings are variable and may be subtle or entirely lacking.

    The fer-de-lance is one of the largest and deadliest of poisonous snakes. These venomous viper snakes can be fatal to humans. They are nocturnal and can live over 20 years. The name, fer-de-lance, is French for "lance head."

    Fer-de-lances have large, speckled eyes with vertically elliptical pupils. They have brilles instead of eyelids which are transparent coverings over the eyes. The broad triangular head and the body are covered with gray or brown velvety scales. The average length of an adult fer-de-lance is 6 feet long. They live in wet and dry places, in forests and open country and are terrestrial. They live alone except when mating.

    Fer-de-lances kill their prey, small mammals and birds, with their two front fangs. They twist their bodies into an S shape before striking. Two small holes, or pits, over their mounts are heat sensory organs. Fer-de-lances use these organs to find prey in their environment. Their forked tongues are chemically sensitive, meaning they can determine which chemicals are in their environment.

    Mating year round, female fer-de-lances are viviparous, giving birth to live young. The gestation period is between 3 and 4 months, and they can give birth to up to 60 young. The babies can be up to one foot in length and have fully formed fangs with a poisonous bite. Young fer-de-lances may climb trees and survive on a diet of frogs and lizards by luring small mammals and birds with their yellow tipped tail.

    According to Dr Lande, Bothrops lanceolatus is exculsively found in Martinique and Saint Lucie but other authors, Calmette, Brehms and others site tropical America as its habitat. Bothrops atrox, the common lancehead is found throughout the forests of Central and South America. Bothrops atrox is regionally mistakenly referred to as fer-de-lance and the identity of Bothrops lanceolatus and Bothrops atrox seem to be confused in the early homeopathic literature. This is not suprising since there seems to be regional mixing of the name fer-de-lance.  

    The common lancehead, Bothrops atrox, is locally called Barba amarilla.  The true fer-de-lance lives only in the West Indies.


    ITA
    Bothrops l. appartiene alla famiglia dei crotalidi e viene chiamato così per la sua forma a punta di lancia, in America centrale e in quella del sud lo chiamano Lachesis  l., perché lo ricorda molto  per la sua aggressività.
    B. è originario dell'isola della Martinica. Viene chiamato anche Vipera gialla. Il suo morso può essere fatale oltre che essere responsabile di stati settici molto seri.
    Come comportamento è molto più violento del Lachesis, sia per la sua dittatorialità che per la difesa del suo territorio. In natura non hanno paura e si avvicinano molto alle abitazioni.
    Vivono vicino a fonti di acqua. Si mimetizzano molto facilmente, a volte prendono del colore verde.
    Sono molto sospettosi, hanno un'attività notturna si cibano di sauri.
    Dopo che hanno morso lo possono rifare con la stessa tossicità.
    Sono molto prolifici, forse fra i serpenti sono i più prolifici, un soggetto riesce a partorire tra i 60 e i 70 soggetti in un volta sola. Anche i piccoli sono velenosi come gli adulti.


    Il genere Bothrops è il più numeroso dei Crotalini ed è distribuito soprattuto in Sud-America e Messico conosciuto con il nome di Jaracaca.
    Manca di sonaglio ed ha il capo caratteristicamente coperto di piccole placchette simili a quelle del corpo.
    La specie ragginge i 2,40 m. e la parte superiore del corpo è grigia, bruna o rossastra con due serie di macchie triangolari, scurissime e con il centro chiaro.
    Una banda scura unisce l'angolo dell'occhio all'angolo boccale.
    Le parti inferiori hanno una tinta biancastra con macchie scure.
    Vive nelle boscaglie umide, nelle zone a folta vegetazione e nelle piantagioni di canna da zucchero dal livello del mare sino ai 1000 m.

    Si ciba esclusivamente di roditori ed ha un temperamento irritabilissimo.
    Considerando le dimensioni e la quantità di veleno che può inoculare si può considerare il più pericoloso serpente del continente Americano.
    Il veleno di Bothrops, inoltre, cuasa delle spaventose piaghe ulcerate che si propagano rapidamente su tutta la parte colpita. La morte sopravviene in pochi minuti.

    Le femmine partoriscono fino a 70 piccoli lunghi 20 cm; tale prolificità spiega come questo serpente sia uno degli Ofidi più comuni in Sud-America.