Of sirens. In Arabia there are white snakes, with wings, called sirens, which cover the ground faster than horses, but are also said to fly. Their is poison is so strong that if you are bitten by it you die before you feel the pain.
[Of the seps] The seps is a small snake which consumes with its poison not just the body but the bones. The poet refers to it as: ‘The deadly seps, that destroys the bones with the body’ (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 723).
[Of the dipsa] The dipsa is a snake which is said to be so small that you tread on it without seeing it. Its poison kills you before you feel it, with the result that the face of anyone dying in this way shows no sadness from the anticipation of death. The poet says of it: ‘So Aulus, a standard-bearer of Etruscan blood, trod on a dipsa, and it drew back its head and bit him. He had hardly any pain or feeling of the bite’ (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 737).
Of the lizard. The lizard is called a kind of reptile, because it has arms. There are many kinds of lizards, such as the botrax, the salamander, the saura and the newt. The botruca is so called because it has the face of a frog and the Greek word for ‘frog’ is botruca.