What’s the Difference Between Venomous vs Poisonous?
Louisiana has our fair share of venomous and poisonous insects, snakes, arachnids, frogs, and more. But, what's the difference between venomous vs poisonous? Here's what you need to know...
Most people think the words poisonous and venomous are synonymous, meaning the same thing.
However, poisonous and venomous do not mean the same thing.
For example, a poison dart frog is poisonous, whereas a scorpion is venomous.
There are actually some animals that are both poisonous and venomous. It's rare, but there are a few such as the Asian Tiger snake.
So what's the difference?
Poisonous is when you, the "victim" ingest the toxin. If you were to eat or lick a poison dart frog, you would be ingesting the toxin.
NPS.org defines a poison as "a toxin that gets into the body by inhaling, swallowing, or absorption through the skin."
Venomous is when a toxin is injected into you, such as from a cobra or scorpion.
"Venom is a toxin that gets into the body by being injected, usually by a bite or a sting" as defined by NPS.org
Simply put, poisonous is when you bite it. venomous is when it bites you.
The Asian Tiger Snake is just a big ole ball of "nope" any way you slice it.
Only one of a very few animals on Earth that are both poisonous and venomous, the Asian tiger snake, also known as the tiger keelback, is poisonous to the touch and can also inject its prey with venom.
From Wikipedia.com -
"Rhabdophis tigrinus has two rows of glands in its neck that provide protection from predators by releasing steroidal toxins that are sequestered from ingested poisonous toads.
Although venomous, few deaths have been recorded due to its tendency to display one of these other behaviors as opposed to striking. This hesitancy to strike at a predator, in turn, maybe because its fangs are located in the back of the mouth, making a successful strike on a large object difficult."
So, the Asian tiger snake's fangs are kind of bunk situation that makes it difficult for it to get a kill shot with every strike, so it developed the ability to just eat poisonous animals and use their poison to kill things.