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Zhaoermia mangshanensis
General Details, Taxonomy and Biology, Venom, Clinical Effects, Treatment, First Aid , Antivenoms
Zhaoermia mangshanensis ( Mount Mang Pit Viper )  [ Original photo copyright © Dr Julian White ]
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Zhaoermia
Species: mangshanensis
Common Names
Mount Mang Pit Viper , Mangshan Iron-head Snake , Mangshan Viper , Mangshan Pitviper
Local Names
Mangshan Laotietou
Region
North Asia
Countries
China
 
Taxonomy and Biology
Adult Length: 1.40 m
General Shape
Large, thick, heavy bodied snake with a medium length laterally compressed tail. Maximum recorded length ( from only a few recorded specimens ) is 2.03 metres ( and weight exceeding 5 kgs ) with only T. flavoviridus having a larger reported length within the genus, but lighter and more slender. Head large, subtriangular with a narrow but rounded snout and distinct canthus rostralis. Eyes relatively small with vertically elliptical pupils. Dorsal scales keeled. Dorsal scale count 25 - 25 - 17.
Habitat
Found only in a relatively small forested region, elevation about 700 to 1300 metres.
Habits
Terrestrial and nocturnal snake with strong arboreal tendencies.
Prey
Feeds mainly on insects, mammals and frogs.
Species Map
Small (Approx 20k) version
 
Venom
General: Venom Neurotoxins
Unknown
General: Venom Myotoxins
Unknown
General: Venom Procoagulants
Unknown
General: Venom Anticoagulants
Unknown
General: Venom Haemorrhagins
Unknown
General: Venom Nephrotoxins
Unknown
General: Venom Cardiotoxins
Unknown
General: Venom Necrotoxins
Unknown
General: Venom Other
Unknown
 
Clinical Effects
General: Dangerousness
Unknown, but potentially lethal envenoming, though unlikely, cannot be excluded.
General: Rate of Envenoming: Unknown
General: Untreated Lethality Rate: Unknown but has caused deaths
General: Local Effects
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Local Necrosis
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: General Systemic Effects
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Neurotoxic Paralysis
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Myotoxicity
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Coagulopathy & Haemorrhages
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Renal Damage
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Cardiotoxicity
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Other
Insufficient clinical reports to know
 
First Aid
Description: First aid for bites by Viperid snakes likely to cause significant local injury at the bite site (see listing in Comments section).
Details
1. After ensuring the patient and onlookers have moved out of range of further strikes by the snake, the bitten person should be reassured and persuaded to lie down and remain still. Many will be terrified, fearing sudden death and, in this mood, they may behave irrationally or even hysterically. The basis for reassurance is the fact that many venomous bites do not result in envenoming, the relatively slow progression to severe envenoming (hours following elapid bites, days following viper bites) and the effectiveness of modern medical treatment.
2. The bite wound should not be tampered with in any way. Wiping it once with a damp cloth to remove surface venom is unlikely to do much harm (or good) but the wound must not be massaged.
3. All rings or other jewellery on the bitten limb, especially on fingers, should be removed, as they may act as tourniquets if oedema develops.
4. The bitten limb should be immobilised as effectively as possible using an extemporised splint or sling; if available, crepe bandaging of the splinted limb is an effective form of immobilisation.
5. If there is any impairment of vital functions, such as problems with respiration, airway, circulation, heart function, these must be supported as a priority. In particular, for bites causing flaccid paralysis, including respiratory paralysis, both airway and respiration may be impaired, requiring urgent and prolonged treatment, which may include the mouth to mask (mouth to mouth) technique of expired air transfer. Seek urgent medical attention.
6. Do not use Tourniquets, cut, suck or scarify the wound or apply chemicals or electric shock.
7. Avoid peroral intake, absolutely no alcohol. No sedatives outside hospital. If there will be considerable delay before reaching medical aid, measured in several hours to days, then give clear fluids by mouth to prevent dehydration.
8. If the offending snake has been killed it should be brought with the patient for identification (only relevant in areas where there are more than one naturally occurring venomous snake species), but be careful to avoid touching the head, as even a dead snake can envenom. No attempt should be made to pursue the snake into the undergrowth as this will risk further bites.
9. The snakebite victim should be transported as quickly and as passively as possible to the nearest place where they can be seen by a medically-trained person (health station, dispensary, clinic or hospital). The bitten limb must not be exercised as muscular contraction will promote systemic absorption of venom. If no motor vehicle or boat is available, the patient can be carried on a stretcher or hurdle, on the pillion or crossbar of a bicycle or on someone's back.
10. Most traditional, and many of the more recently fashionable, first aid measures are useless and potentially dangerous. These include local cauterization, incision, excision, amputation, suction by mouth, vacuum pump or syringe, combined incision and suction ("venom-ex" apparatus), injection or instillation of compounds such as potassium permanganate, phenol (carbolic soap) and trypsin, application of electric shocks or ice (cryotherapy), use of traditional herbal, folk and other remedies including the ingestion of emetic plant products and parts of the snake, multiple incisions, tattooing and so on.
 
Treatment
Treatment Summary
Bites by this species are not reported, though villagers claim it causes fatalities. It might cause moderate, possibly major local & systemic effects, including coagulopathy/bleeding. Urgently assess & admit all cases. Antivenom therapy is probably the key treatment, especially for coagulopathy, but no specific antivenom is available & it is unknown if other Chinese antivenoms will offer cross protection.
Key Diagnostic Features
Unknown
General Approach to Management
All cases should be treated as urgent & potentially lethal. Rapid assessment & commencement of treatment including appropriate antivenom (if indicated & available) is mandatory. Admit all cases.
Antivenom Therapy
No antivenom available
Antivenoms
No Antivenoms
Zhaoermia mangshanensis ( Mount Mang Pit Viper ) [ Original photo copyright © Dr Julian White ]
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