- dream fish
- Also known as nightmare fish. Both terms are used to denote a group of ichthyoallyeino-toxic fishes such as Kyphosus fuseus, Kyphosus vaigiensis, Sarpa salpa, Siganus spinus,and Mul-loidichthys samoensis, many of which are indigenous to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and/or the Mediterranean Sea. Eating the heads or other body parts of these fish may lead to hallucinogenic fish poisoning or *ichthyoallyeinotoxism, a rare condition characterized by the occurrence of vivid "visual and *auditory hallucinations, * nightmares, and sometimes frank "delirium. Reportedly, S. salpa was used in the past for ceremonial purposes in Polynesia, and for recreational purposes in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea during the era of the Roman Empire. The toxin or toxins responsible for the mediation of ichthyoallyeinotoxism are unknown. As all ichthyoallyeinotoxic fishes are algal grazers, it is has been suggested that they derive their hallucinogenic properties from alkaloids of the indole group, which display similarities in chemical structure to LSD, and which occur naturally in certain types of algae and phytoplankton. It has also been suggested that ichthyoallyeinotoxism is mediated by the presence in the fish of *dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a * hallucinogen even more potent than the indoles.ReferencesDe Haro, L., Pommier, P. (2006). Hallucinatory fish poisoning (ichthyoallyeinotoxism): Two case reports from the Western Mediterranean and literature review. Clinical Toxicology, 44,185-188.Rudgley, R. (1998). The encyclopaedia of psy-choactive substances. London: Little, Brown and Company.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.