I wonder if in general snakes are immune to their own venom. I would like to know studies or references about times snakes bit themselves and got sick or the contrary.


1 Answer 1


“The conventional wisdom is that they have circulating antibodies in their blood,” says Stephen Mackessy, Ph.D., a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado and an expert in venomous snakes. “This would protect them from their own venom, as well of venom from another snake in their own species.”

Hypothetically, if a speckled rattlesnake bit another speckled rattlesnake, the immunity they’ve built from being exposed to low levels of their own venom—kept in glands behind their eyes and secreted when they bite—would protect them from a fatal wound. (Even though the glands are closed, they still contain blood vessels that allow the venom to circulate in their system, causing mild exposure, Mackessy says.) But a speckled rattlesnake that meets up with a cobra might have a different day entirely.

So in the case snake were to bite itself it wouldn't suffer as much from the poison compared to the actual bite it self-inflicted.

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    – MattDMo
    Sep 20, 2016 at 22:45

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