African Puff Adder Snake


African Puff Adder Snake…

Bitis arietans by 4028mdk09 cc3.0

Common and widely spread

This species of deadly viper snakes is one of the most common and widely spread snakes in Africa and are both good swimmers and climbers. They are quite large, growing up to lengths of about one meter and girths of 40 cm. Their color varies according to the region they inhabit. The females lay about 80 eggs at a time.


These snakes hunt mammals, lizards, amphibians and birds. They use their camouflaging to effectively hunt and protect themselves as well. They are sometimes preyed on by other snakes, warthogs and honey badgers.

Puff Adder Strike

Baby puff adder ready to strike. Picture taken near the town of Groot-Marico in South Africa. Photo taken by Johannes van Rooyen

They are rather slow-moving creatures but when threatened they can attack with incredible speed. They can easily strike sideways without having to move their heads back first. They hiss and puff when threatened hence why they are called “puff” adder. They are very territorial and will fight, kill and even eat their own kind. In defensive mode they coil up in to an “S” shape.

Nocturnal Hunters

They are mostly night-time creatures. They’d rather ambush the prey than hunting it down themselves. The nocturnal puff adders hide in the night and wait for the victim. The snakes will strike with such force that the impact itself will often kill the victim.

Puff adder fangs

During this time humans can accidentally disturb them. They have a really potent strike and the fangs can penetrate very deep into the victim’s skin. The fangs can pierce even soft leather. They produce large amounts of their venom. Puff adders are very dangerous to humans since their venom is cytotoxic, i.e. they are toxic to cells.

African Puff Adders are featured in the following book:
25 Awesome Snakes

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about African Puff Adders. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Puff Adder ambush – Serpent – BBC Animals
  2. Meerkats vs. Puff Adder by NationalGeographic
  3. Deadly Puff Adder kills more people in africa than any other snake by Inzaja
  4. Austin Stevens with Puff Adder by VenomouS996


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