Horned Adder - Bitis caudalis

Home ] General ] Families ] Species List ] Venom Key ] Fang Key ] Head Shape Key ] Markings Key ] Color Key ] Distribution ] Biomes and Vegetation ] References ] Glossary ] Dedication ]


 


Photo courtesy Nick Aitchison

Average Length: 25 cm. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Horingadder
Look for:
  • A small thick snake with triangular head
  • A single horn above each eye
  • Hisses and strikes when disturbed
  • Buries itself in sand so that only the eyes and nose is exposed


Distribution


Venom Type: Cytotoxic. Although they possess typical viperene venom, too little is injected to be lethal to man. Symptoms may include a painful swelling, nausea and vomiting, but usually clear up within a few weeks


First Aid

If absolutely sure that this snake was responsible for the bite, get victim to a doctor or hospital where the bite must be treated symptomatically. Otherwise see First-aid procedures.


Photo courtesy Richard Harvey

Habits

The most distinctive feature of this adder is the presence of a small erect scale situated above each eye. If molested they become very agitated, hissing and striking repeatedly. They often burrow just beneath the surface of the sand. Buries itself in sand by wriggling or shuffling until concealed; only top of head, eyes and little horns exposed.

Food

Lizards, geckos and small rodents.

Number of eggs

 

Reproduction

Viviparous. 4-8 young, 100-150 mm long, born late summer.

Enemies

Predatory birds, other snakes and humans.

Habitat

Dry sandy regions in Namib Desert, Karoo and arid savanna.

 

Home ] Up ] General ] Families ] Species List ] Venom Key ] Fang Key ] Head Shape Key ] Markings Key ] Color Key ] Distribution ] Biomes and Vegetation ] References ] Glossary ] Dedication ]



Safari Media Africa / C. Mitchell 2002/2003

Developed by