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Autohaemorrhaging or reflex bleeding is the action of animals deliberately ejecting haemolymph or blood from their bodies. If the animal has toxic compounds in its blood, then it may be an effective chemical defence mechanism.

Animals that autohaemorrhage include:[1]

  • Snakes
    • Tropidophis, or wood snake, a genus of dwarf boa, which expels blood from the mouth, nostrils and eyes when disturbed.
    • Natrix natrix, or European grass snake, a colubrid, which secretes blood from the mouth and nose while playing dead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bateman, Philip; P. A. Fleming (28 Apr 2009). "There will be blood: autohaemorrhage behaviour as part of the defence repertoire of an insect". Journal of Zoology 278 (4): 342–348. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00582.x. ISSN 1469-7998. Retrieved 07-08-2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ The Alkaloids: chemistry and physiology, Volume 31 By Arnold Brossi