BIO 203

What are their interactions within the ecosystem?

Effects of Stonefish Poison

       In a journal written by a biologist who was studying the fish on the coast of Australia at that time, the effects of Synanceia verrucosa envenomation are discussed in great detail.  This biologist was punctured in his thumb when grabbing a specimen and decided not to treat it right away to study the symptoms of the venom.  In short, there were high intensity levels of pain as well as swelling, bleeding, bruising, and stiffness at the injury site and on the nearby limbs.  In extreme cases when people do not receive treatment right away they begin to develop cardiovascular problems, hallucinations, fever, and eventually death.  Many victims beg for death or amputation screaming, “Just cut it off!” due to the overwhelming amount of pain. 

How Does This Happen?

      The main reason people even encounter the stonefish is actually because they eat them.  Japanese chefs are the most affected because they hold the fish by its dorsal fins and then are punctured by its spines on the back.  In other cases, people will be walking on the beach and step on a stonefish that has beached itself during low tide.  In every single case, the best cure is to place the puncture wound and injure site in hot water to denature the enzymes in the venom.  This is discussed further on the adaptation page.


In essence, humans are Synanceia verrucosa's largest predator.  The only other main interactions it has with other species is that it will sometimes develop a mutualistic relationship with algae and use it as more camouflage against its habitat background.

To find out more fun facts about Synanceia verrucosa continue on to the facts page.

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