Genus: Bitis (adders)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria > Squamata > Serpentes (snakes) > Family: Viperidae

This Genus is the largest of the family Viperidae with all but four species occurring in southern Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

Bitis albanica (Albany adder, Eastern many horned adder)

The Albany adder was only discovered in 1997 and its distribution is restricted to the Algoa Bay area.


Bitis arietans (Puff adder)

The Puff adder is responsible for more deaths than any other snake in Africa and also has one of the largest geographic ranges of any snake in Africa.



Bitis armata (Southern adder)

The Southern adder was only discovered in 1997 and yet is already threatened by habitat destruction. 


Bitis atropos (Berg adder, Cape mountain adder)

The Berg adder has a unique venom which is neurotoxic as opposed being cytotoxic like other members of its Family and Genus.


Bitis caudalis (Horned adder or Side winding adder)

The Horned adder can be identified a single prominent horn above each eye and it habit of burying most of its body in loose sand.

Bitis cornuta (Many horned adder or Western hornsman adder)

The Many horned adder can be identified by a tuft of horns above each eye and the the way its body leaves the ground when striking.



Bitis gabonica (Gaboon adder, Central African Gaboon adder)

The Gaboon adder holds the record for the longest fangs of venomous snake in the world and is the heaviest Adder or Viper in the world.


Bitis inornata (Plain Mountain adder, Hornless adder)

This very rare species is only found in the Sneeuberg Mountains and uniquely is found above the mountain snow line.


Bitis peringueyi (Peringuey's desert or side-winding adder, Namib dwarf sand-adder)

Peringuey's adder has a unique eye placement with the eyes being on top of the head as opposed to being on the sides and is also known for its ability to side-wind, which although not unique is used to a far greater extent than other snakes which are able to move in this way.

Bitis rubida (Red adder)

Is regularly encountered in colourations other than the one specified by its common name.



Bitis schneideri (Namaqua dwarf adder)

The smallest member of the Genus and possibly the smallest member of the family in the world.


Bitis schneideri (Namaqua dwarf adder)

Bitis xeropaga (Desert mountain adder)

A rare snake.



Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Reptiles home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search