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Puffy the Puff Adder A venomous Puff Adder, completely wild and photographed in the wilds of Namibia.  As is common with Adders, the venom from this snake is cyto-toxic, which means the venom literally eats away at flesh and muscles.  <br />
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This snake is extremely well camouflaged and one can easily unknowingly step on it if wandering about.  Luckily, normally, it will make a loud hissing sound when detecting vibrations on the ground from approaching hikers.  It is a docile snake, moving slow, but when it comes to striking, it is lightning vast.  <br />
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Venomous and Dangerous to man.   Bitis arietans,Geotagged,Namibia,adder,camouflage,dangerous,fear,golden,orange,venomous Click/tap to enlarge PromotedCountry intro

Puffy the Puff Adder

A venomous Puff Adder, completely wild and photographed in the wilds of Namibia. As is common with Adders, the venom from this snake is cyto-toxic, which means the venom literally eats away at flesh and muscles.

This snake is extremely well camouflaged and one can easily unknowingly step on it if wandering about. Luckily, normally, it will make a loud hissing sound when detecting vibrations on the ground from approaching hikers. It is a docile snake, moving slow, but when it comes to striking, it is lightning vast.

Venomous and Dangerous to man.

    comments (10)

  1. Hikers tip: do not use earbuds, listen to the world's sounds :) Spectacular closeup! Posted 4 years ago
    1. Good advise Ferdy for sure! Posted 4 years ago
    2. Thanks Ferdy, and yes, hikers take note. To be complete aware of your surroundings might take some time, but might also save your life. As you can see, this "close-up" was taken with a 500 mm lens (focused at 439 mm). I respect snakes a lot ... and like to keep my distance. Posted 4 years ago
  2. Oh yes, I check on our resident puffy's location every morning, thankfully it tends to stay in one spot during the day when it is sunny but there have been occasions when I have accidentally got a bit close. We seem to have a mutual agreement and we leave each other alone! Posted 4 years ago
    1. Claire's garden pet:
      Enjoying the sun So thrilled that our resident puff adder is less nervous of me now and comes to sunbathe in the same spot every morning (weather permitting). At least I know where she/he is and so I am less likely to inadvertently tread too close. This was the case a few days ago. It used to live down a hole at the top of the retaining wall and sometimes rest there. When I couldn't see it I went to step on the lower ledge to look for it and nearly put my foot right on it! Bitis arietans,Common Puff adder,Geotagged,Puff adder,South Africa,Summer,africa,snakes,south africa
      Posted 4 years ago
    2. OK…to have that living in your yard, that's a bit scary and one of the reasons I love where I live… we've 0, yes 0 species of venomous snakes and 0 species of venomous spiders over here… did hear a rattler once on a hike on the dry side of the state. eek! Posted 4 years ago
      1. One of the things I soon realised in Africa..everything, even the plants want to kill you! Ha!! Posted 4 years ago
        1. Very true ... nearly everything wants to eat you, and everything wants to kill you. For sure. Posted 4 years ago
    3. Oh my gosh ... you have a Puff Adder in your garden ? That will keep you on your toes ... and I guess no late night parties going on with a few ignorant guests in the garden ... funny and scary all at once. Now that is what I call respect for all life ... Ghandi and Buddha are be proud of you.

      Well done Claire. You have much more guts than I do.
      Posted 4 years ago
  3. From today's Facebook post:

    What a gorgeous snake! This is a Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) and is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. On average, they grow to about 1 meter long (39.3 in), have a triangular head, and are quite stout. Their common name comes from the snake’s habit of inflating itself and hissing when threatened. The hiss is a warning, although it can be difficult to hear, and the snake may strike before the victim even realizes that danger is near. Puff adders are pretty sluggish, but strike quickly and should always be treated with respect. As ambush predators, they tend to hide and wait for prey to wander by. Rodents, small mammals, birds, and amphibians constitute the snake’s diet. Biting large mammals and humans is simply self-defense. But, they are venomous vipers and are responsible for the most snakebite fatalities in Africa. The high number of fatalities is due to several factors: the snake has a wide distribution and is common, it has long fangs and produces large amounts of potent venom, and they are well camouflaged as they quietly hide and bask along footpaths. Serious bites can cause bleeding, swelling, necrosis, severe pain, shock, unconsciousness, and death.

    The beautiful, neutral pattern on a puff adder’s body lends them the perfect camouflage. But, unlike other snakes that merely rely on visual camouflage, puff adders also camouflage themselves chemically. This tactic is known as chemical crypsis. What this basically means is that they lack any detectable odor. They are essentially unsmellable—a pretty amazing superpower for an ambush predator to possess! So potential predators, like wild dogs and mongooses will walk right by these snakes, completely unaware of their presence. These animals rely on their sense of smell to find prey, yet they can’t detect a puff adder! Scientists aren’t yet sure how the snakes manage to remain stink-free. It’s suggested that they may have a low metabolism and body temperature, therefore giving off fewer volatile compounds. Or, maybe they have unique scales that prevent smelly bacteria from living on them.

    Chemical crypsis isn’t the only cool trick that puff adders possess. They perform a behavior called caudal luring, which means that they extend and wiggle their tongues for long periods of time in order to lure in amphibians. This tongue wiggling ruse mimics the movements of invertebrates, such as worms and caterpillars. So, when a frog hops by, it will be fooled into thinking that the snake’s tongue is actually a tasty morsel. Sadly, this will be the last mistake the frog will make. Lingual luring is definitely awesome, but even more fascinating is the fact that puff adders only wiggle their tongue at amphibians. This means that they can visually discriminate between types of prey, thus demonstrating high cognitive abilities.

    Whether you admire snakes or fear them, they are an essential part of the ecosystems in which they live, and they fulfill their roles efficiently and with a purpose. {Spotted in Namibia by JungleDragon user, Living Wild} #JungleDragon

    Posted 5 months ago

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''Bitis arietans'' is a venomous viper species found in savannah and grasslands from Morocco and western Arabia throughout Africa except for the Sahara and rain forest regions. It is responsible for causing the most snakebite fatalities in Africa owing to various factors, such as its wide distribution and frequent occurrence in highly populated regions. Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.

The species is commonly known as puff adder,.. more

Similar species: Scaled Reptiles
Species identified by Living Wild
View Living Wild's profile

By Living Wild

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jan 9, 2015. Captured May 25, 2014 16:21 in D2874, Namibia.
  • Canon EOS REBEL T2i
  • f/9.0
  • 1/166s
  • ISO100
  • 439mm