Lesser Weever (Echiichthys Vipera)

Latin name: Echiichthys vipera
Common name: Lesser weever
In other languages: E: Salvariego, F: Petite Vive, D: Viperqueise, Kleines Vipermännchen
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Trachinidae
Genus: Echiichthys

Habitat: Soft substrates (mud, sand and fine shingle), from shallow surface waters down to 50 metres.

Behaviour: A benthic species that spends most of the time buried in the sand with just the head showing. They are a plague to bathers in shallow water areas, flicking up their dorsal fin when alarmed. They inflict a very painful wound mainly to the feet of the bathers and the hands of anglers and fishermen.

Diet: Crustaceans and small fish.

Size: Common: 8 - 12cm, maximum: 15cm.

Shape: Both the dorsal fin and gill are covered with venomous spines and great care must be taken whilst handling this fish. It should also be remembered that these spines could still inflict a bad wound long after the fish is dead.

Did you know: Vinegar, urine, or holding the wounded area in water as hot as the inflicted area can take, are popular remedies against the venom of this fish. The obvious remedy of course is to see your doctor.