Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Trachinus draco

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Trachinus draco {Echiichthys draco}

Etymology

draco=dragon

Family

Traditional name

Engl: Greater weever;Stingfish
Sting-bull drakon;
Bulg:Morski  Russ: Morskoy drakon; Turk: Trakonya

Used parts

Trituration of the poisonous fins.

Classification

Chordata / Vertebrata - Vertebrates; Pisces - Fishes; Perciformes - Perchlike Fishes; Trachinidae

Keywords

sea

Original proving

Allen: Cyclopaedia, V. 10.
     Tarenfeld: A. H. Z., V. 8, p. 136.

Description of the substance

The greater weever
This fish is often found on the sandy seabeds of the Atlantic Ocean (from the south of Norway to Morocco), in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Despite the danger it represents Trachinus draco is sought after for its tasty flesh but the angler must use special pliers and gloves to handle it…

Morphology
The greater weever has a laterally compressed body which is slender and fusiform in shape (20 to 30 cms in length with a maximum of 45 cms). It has two characteristic dorsal fins : the short one composed of 5 to 7 connected spiny rays which like the long spine on the operculum has poison glands, the other fin has 29 to 32 softer rays The ventral fins are jugular (situated in front of the pectoral fins) and the anal fin which is very long is composed of 2 spines and 27 to 34 soft rays. The caudal fin is short.
The broad head of this fish possesses two eyes with spiny eyebrows placed close together in a high forward position. The head tapers to a short snout and large oblique mouth, with small teeth, which opens upwards. Its prominent lower jaw gives this fish a toad-like appearance

Coloration
The back of the greater weever is light beige to browny-green in colour, the flanks are lighter and the belly is iridescent. There are small dark patches on the head and dark oblique stripes alternating with broken blue stripes along the flanks. The membrane of the first dorsal fin is black at the top. Unlike the lesser weever with its black edged caudal the greater weaver does not have this dark edge which distinguishes it from its close cousin.

Habitat and Behaviour
Trachinus Draco is a benthic fish which spends most of its time hidden in the substrata with only its eyes and the poisonous spines of its dorsal fin visible. This fish which prefers sandy or shallow gravelly seabeds in summer is capable of living at a depth of 150 m in winter (most commonly between 30 and 100m). It prefers to move about in small groups at night.

Nutrition
The greater weever which is particularly active in summer is an aggressive carnivorous fish which lays in wait and attacks its prey suddenly. It feeds on small fish (gobies, sand-eels, anchovies, young flat fish), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps), young cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish) and marine worms.

Reproduction
The reproduction period is from spring (in the Mediterranean) to August. The female lays in the open sea small pelagic eggs of 1 mm in diameter which are immediately fertilized by the male. After hatching the larvae absorb their yolk-sacs and then feed on plankton before becoming benthic fish.

Danger and treatment
The greater weever is a dangerous fish due to its very toxic poison which is injected by the spine on the operculum and the spines of the first dorsal fin. The sting produces very intense pain followed by numbness and swelling around the sting. Other symptoms are often present including breathing difficulties, sweating, troubled sight, dizzyness, paralysis of the limb concerned or convulsions.
In the case of a sting: help the person to get out of the sea, lay them down placing the affected limb in a raised position and heat the wound with an incandescent cigarette (without burning the person) as the poison is destroyed by heat. Another solution is to soak the limb in water which is as hot as possible containing a little Dakin antiseptic or mild bleach solution for twenty minutes. If the pain is too intense take the person to a medical centre.
It should be noted that the poison remains dangerous even when the fish is dead.