Many-horned Adder - Bitis cornuta

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Average Length: 30 cm. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Veelhoringadder
Look for:
  • A small thick snake with triangular head
  • Multiple horns 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 viperine venom, too small a quantity of venom is injected to be lethal to man. Symptoms may include painful swelling, nausea and vomiting, but usually clears up within a few weeks.


First Aid

If you are sure of identity of snake: get victim to a doctor or hospital where the bite must be treated symptomatically. Painkillers will be required. Otherwise see First-aid procedures.

Habits

A distinctive feature is the bunch of 2-7 erect scales or "horns" situated on either side of head,    above the eyes. If molested they  become extremely agitated, hissing and striking repeatedly.     Very few bites have been recorded. Capable of sidewinding and burying itself in loose sand but prefers rocky areas. When confronted, it will hiss loudly and strike with so much force that most of its body lifts off ground.

Food

Lizards, small rodents and amphibians.

Reproduction

Viviparous. Bears 7-12 young in late summer, 130-150 mm long.

Enemies

Other snakes, caught for pet trade.

Habitat

Found on mountains, rocky outcrops, gravel plains in Namib Desert and arid savanna.

 

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