Special Issue "Evolution of Venomous and Poisonous Animals"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Venoms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kevin Arbuckle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
Interests: evolutionary toxinology; macroevolution; diversification; convergent evolution; antipredator defence; herpetology; phylogenetic comparative methods
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Karen Siu-Ting
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, BT9 5DL Belfast, UK
Dr. John Dunbar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
Interests: reptile and arthropod predation strategies; venom – transcriptomics; proteomics; medical importance and therapeutics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ability to use toxic weaponry such as venoms and poisons has evolved many times across the animal tree of life. Animals have the capacity to produce toxins endogenously, such as venoms, or exogenously via toxin bioaccumulation/sequestration, and such toxins are either actively transferred as venoms or passively secreted as poisons. Regardless of the strategy, having venoms or toxins has led to major evolutionary adaptations in animals and the organisms with which they interact. Unsurprisingly, venoms and toxins have been studied for their therapeutic potential, fueling research on toxin characterization and molecular aspects of venom toxins (e.g., structure–function relationships, molecular evolution of toxins, and venomics). However, in recent years, the field of organismal toxinology has expanded and provided more focus on the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral context, leading to the discovery of remarkable examples of evolutionary arms races, mimicry, and aposematism.

This Special Issue is focused on gathering contributions in the form of original research articles, reviews, and short communications in the broad area of the evolution of venomous and poisonous animals. More specifically, we welcome papers that consider (but are not limited to) the following: systematics and phylogenetics of targeted groups of venomous or poisonous animals; molecular adaptations of venoms and gene-encoded toxins; studies that link physiology or ecology to the evolution of toxicity or venoms in animals; evolutionary and ecological consequences of toxicity (such as aposematism and mimicry); behavioral or morphological adaptations; host–microbiome interactions in toxic animals; and toxin resistance and sequestration.

Dr. Kevin Arbuckle
Dr. Karen Siu-Ting
Dr. John Dunbar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Venoms
  • Toxins
  • Poisons
  • Animal evolution
  • Evolutionary adaptations
  • Venomics
  • Ecology
  • Alkaloids

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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