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Arthropods: venoms and biology

Guest editors: Luis Fernando García Hernández, Maria Elena de Lima and Wilson Lourenço
Arthropods: venoms and biology


Call for papers in the Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases


Edited by: Luis Fernando García Hernández, Maria Elena de Lima and Wilson Lourenço


Arthropods represent the most diverse animal phylum. The group not only exhibits an enormous diversity, but also a fascinating array of strategies for defense and prey capture. Many, if not most, arthropods possess behavioral and morphological adaptations to avoid predation or enhance the capture of their prey. Nevertheless, one of the most interesting and diverse strategies observed in many arthropods for defensive and feeding purposes is the use of toxic substances.

Many arthropod groups such as insects, arachnids and centipedes use venom for paralyzing or subduing their prey. The use of toxins may protect the predator from possible prey retaliation and in some cases promotes prey digestion. In many cases predation is closely associated with a given type of prey, consequently, specialized toxins can be observed. In account of new techniques that can evaluate animal toxicity, new studies can now explore potential associations between arthropod toxicity and type of prey.

Arthropods equally use toxic compounds in defensive strategies, to deter attack from potential predators. These toxins are used to affect a wide variety of predators belonging to distinct zoological groups and their effect is variable ranging from producing pain to the potential predator’s death. Animals that use toxins for defensive purposes may possess aposematic colorations, which can be used as a baseline for new and interesting ecological approaches in the study of defensive strategies.

This wide variety of toxins that is strongly linked to ecological and biological aspects has worked as a baseline for the obtention of several tools to study different targets in physiological systems and to the propose new directions for the development of drugs or agrochemical products. A good example with arthropod venoms is that many of them are rich in toxins that act on ion channels and other receptors modifying their functions. As these channels and receptors are involved in various physiological functions in different organisms, they become preferential targets for active molecules, usually present in these venoms.  On the other hand, they are frequently, implicated in diseases and are targets of potent drugs. In this sense, animal toxins have helped, as tools, in the knowledge of such targets and have also served as models for drugs to control diseases related to them.

Considering the enormous potential of molecules in the venoms/secretions of the various species of arthropods, this is a promising field to continue to be explored. The thematic series “Arthropods: venoms and biology” aims to bring together contributions on the biological relationships of animals, involving their feeding, venoms and interaction with prey and predators, as well as the mode of action and the pharmacological potential of their toxins, seeking to increase the knowledge of this intricate eco-pharmacological network.

The proposed deadline for submissions is November 30, 2020. The editors invite you to share your knowledge on this exciting subject and submit your manuscript for consideration.

Manuscripts should be formatted according to our submission guidelines and submitted via the online submission system. During submission, please indicate clearly in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for the “Arthropods: venoms and biology” series.

If you would like to enquire about the suitability of a manuscript for consideration, please email a pre-submission enquiry to editorial.jvatitd@unesp.br.

Research  |   Intravitreal injection of peptides PnPa11 and PnPa13, derivatives of Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom, prevents retinal damage

Lays Fernanda Nunes Dourado1, Flavia Rodrigues da Silva1,2, Cibele Rodrigues Toledo1, Carolina Nunes da Silva1, Cleildo Pereira Santana1, Bruna Lopes da Costa1, Maria Elena de Lima3, Armando da Silva Cunha Junior1

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Review  |   The coevolution between telson morphology and venom glands in scorpions (Arachnida)

Wilson R. Lourenço1

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