Gaboon Adder - Bitis gabonica

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Average Length: 1.1 m. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Gaboenadder
Look for:
  • A thick snake with triangular head
  • Thick cream-colored dotted line along the spine
  • Beautiful triangles in light brown, pink and light purple
  • A black/brown line beginning at the eye and becoming wider running down to corner of the mouth
  • Always on the ground
  • Only found in the St. Lucia are in South Africa


Distribution
Only found in the St. Lucia area in South Africa


Venom Type: Cytotoxic


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Apply pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedure; immobilise limb with a splint to reduce spread of venom. Loosen, but do not remove bandage if there is severe swelling. Take victim to hospital as soon as possible.

Habits

This adder is placid by nature but when provoked it raises the forepart of the body slightly from the ground, hisses and strikes in any direction with surprising speed. Remains in one spot for days. When disturbed, will emit a series of long drawn-out hisses while forepart of body lifts off the ground horizontally; even then reluctant to strike.

Food

Rodents, hares, ground birds and toads.

Reproduction

Viviparous. Bears 16-30 young 240-360 mm in late summer.

Enemies

Humans.

Habitat

Found in moist, thickly wooded rain forest. In S.A. prefers moist thickly wooded lowland areas,  in coastal dune and forests on eastern escarpment of Zimbabwe.

 

 

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