Bitis rubida (Red adder)
(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 red or reddish brown colouration,
between 18 and 30 blotches running down its length (these can be nearly
invisible in red coloured specimens) and occasionally very small horns above each
eye (very rarely). They grow to an average length of 30 cm but may reach 40 cm.
Distribution and habitat
Found in the Cedarberg and on the
inland escarpment in the Western Cape. Its favoured habitat is rocky mountain
Feeds on lizards (particularly geckos, skinks, agamas, and
lacertids) and occasionally small
(e.g. rats and
Predators, parasites and disease
Viviparous (gives birth to live young); up
to 10 offspring are born in late summer.
Has an average lifespan of between 5 and 10 years.
Has a weak cytotoxic venom which will
cause painful swelling and possibly necrosis. Antivenom is not necessary.