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Fish #195 Greater Weever Trachinus draco ~ Shena McGrath
Acrylic on canvas 61 x 76 cm
I have lived on the edge of the North Sea for 24 years, mostly on the dry bits, but on occasions I have dipped my toe in it during summer months. Having researched the Greater Weever Fish, I will be rather cautious of where I tread from now on!
The name 'Weever' is thought to have derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'Wivre' which means Viper. (Sounding nasty already). For good reason is it named thus, it has a set of extremely pointy dorsal spines on a modified dorsal fin which it can keep flat and out of harms way, or lift erect when feeling miffed. If trodden on, the victim will experience an excruciatingly painful sting, swelling and redness which has, on rare occasions, been fatal. The only reliable and simple way to relieve the pain is by plunging the affected part into very hot water (>40 C).
The Greater Weever, or 'Trachinus Draco' likes to hide itself on the bottom of the sea, often in shallow water (very sneaky) and one can understand why J K Rowling decided to name Harry Potter's arch enemy 'Draco Malfoy'. It can grow to more than 25cm long and it is widely found in the Northeastern Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Oh, and another thing, you can eat it........VERY CAREFULLY!
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