Bitis armata (Southern adder)
Suidelike adder [Afrikaans]
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Viperidae > Genus:
Can be identified by its grey colouration, 20 or more pairs
of brown and white blotches, an arrow head pattern on its head and dark markings
from the eye to the mouth. It is an average length of 28 cm but may reach 41.5
cm in length.
Distribution and habitat
The Southern adder has a very small distribution and is
only found in two small populations in the Western Cape. Its favoured habitat is
low-lying coastal fynbos below 200 meters above sea level.
Feeds on lizards and small
(e.g. rats and
Predators, parasites and disease
Viviparous (gives birth to live young), with up to seven
offspring born in late summer.
Has an average lifespan of 20 years.
No human has been bitten by a Southern adder but the venom
is likely to be cytotoxic and only cause painful swelling and necrosis.
Antivenom is not required.
Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa.
Struik Publishing, Cape Town.
Alexander, G. & Marais, J. 2007. A Guide to the
Reptiles of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.