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

Peringuey se adder, Namibduinadder [Afrikaans]

 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 > Genus: Bitis

Bitis peringueyi (Peringuey's desert or side-winding adder, Namib dwarf sand-adder), Namibia [W. Botha from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Bitis peringueyi (Peringuey's desert or side-winding adder, Namib dwarf sand-adder), Namibia [W. Botha from SARCA Virtual Museum

Identification

Can be identified by its orange brown or greyish yellow colouration, three rows of pale spots along its body, its often black tipped tail and its eyes which are on top of its head (this is because the snake often conceals itself in loose sand with its eyes peeping out). It has an average length of 25 cm but may reach 33 cm in length.

Distribution and habitat

Restricted to the Namibian West Coast. Its favoured habitat is coastal sand dunes (it is in this environment that it is most often seen side winding).  

Food

Feeds on lizards (particularly Sand lizards) and geckos (particularly the Barking gecko).

Predators, parasites and disease

Threatened by habitat destruction and illegal collecting.

Reproduction

Viviparous (gives birth to live young); three to 10 young are born in late summer.

Longevity

Has an average lifespan of 10 years.

Medical importance

Has a weak cytotoxic venom which causes pain and swelling. Antivenom is not necessary.

Links

References

  • Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.

  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.

 


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