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Deer ticks, adders and weever fish

Also in 'Visiting Studland'
Where is Studland Bay?
Check the weather for Studland
Driving to Studland and parking
Bus timetables for Studland
The Sandbanks Chain Ferry
Disabled access to Studland
Hotels, guest houses and B&BS
Camp sites in the Isle of Purbeck
The gay beach at Studland
Non-nudist Beaches at Studland
Litter, recycling, fires & bbq's
Taking your dog to Studland
Deer ticks, adders & weever fish
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Things To Do in Dorset
Studland Memories
 

Sand Lizard  Studland United Nudists  Sand Lizard  Studland United Nudists Smooth Snake  Studland United Nudists

Studland Heath
is home to all six species of British reptile,
including our three native snakes,
the grass snake, the smooth snake
and the venomous adder

 
   

 

         

Deer Ticks

Deer ticks are tiny - shown on fingerDeer ticks are small and dark-coloured and feed mostly on deer, cattle, and other large animals, but they will feed on people when they get a chance.

The ticks live along paths, trails, and roadways and may inflict a painful bite.

Adult deer tick with upper legs raised to latch to a hostDeer ticks can carry the Lyme disease bacteria in their systems. This tick-transmitted bacterial disease is most likely to be contracted in the summer months when people are outdoors.

Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics administered orally. Read more at NHS Direct or The Lyme Disease Foundation.

 

Adders

The only poisonous snake in the UK is the adder. They are not aggressive creatures and will only bite if they are disturbed. It's easy to mistake a smooth snake for an adder as they are superficially similar - especially if you only get a quick look.

The best distinguishing features are the scales as shown in the beginners guide below. For more detail on adders, including where they are more likely to be seen, read Adders and what to do if bitten. Also see what to do if your dog is bitten

Adder Smooth Snake Grass Snake
The venomous adder
Dark zigzag stripe down their back from grey to almost black. Background colouration is a light shade of grey or brown.
The smooth snake
Smooth snakes appear more slender than adders. Incomplete dark brown or black pattern in two rows along the back with grey-brown background colouration.
 
The grass snake
Grass snakes have black spots along the body which is a green-grey in colour.
Adder Scales Smooth Snake Scales Grass Snake Scales
The venomous adder - Scales
Has strongly keeled (rigged) scales often 'dull' in appearance.
The smooth snake - Scales
Identified by extremely smooth and polished scales.
The grass snake - Scales
Longitudinally ridged scales
Adder Head Smooth Snake Head Grass Snake Head
The venomous adder - Head
Flat head with dark V-shape pointing between the slanted oval eyes. Slit cat-like pupil.
The smooth snake - Head
Head widens behind the eyes, which have round pupils.
The grass snake - Head
Light green, yellow or orange markings form collar on the neck. A grass snake's eyes are almost circular.

 

The Weever fishWeever Fish

This fish, commonly found around Britain's coasts lies buried in sand close to the shoreline, so is easily trodden on. Venomous spines on its gill covers and dorsal fin puncture the skin causing an extremely painful local reaction.

What to do if stung

To inactivate the venom put the injured part in water as hot as you can bear for at least 30 minutes. Top up the water as it cools, being careful not to scald. The Knoll Beach visitor centre provide hot water for this purpose and are used to treating casualties.

It should not be necessary to go to hospital unless spines are clearly visible in the wound. Provided hot water treatment is applied quickly, the pain wears off within 30-45 minutes and there should be no lasting effects.

Editor's note: Weever and similar fish are common around the coast of France and Northern Spain where local folklore recommends urinating on the sting. If you can't get hot water it may be worth a try. Another treatment some say is effective is vinegar. We have no first hand reports or experience of these methods, let us know if you do!