Puff Adder

in-depth Description

Adult are normally from 900 mm up to 1.5 m in some parts of their range. The puff adders head is large and distinct from the body with lots of small scales. The eyes are small with vertical pupils. The nostrils are large and face up. The fangs are large hinged fangs. The dorsal scales of the body are heavily keeled and in 29-41 rows mid-body. The anal shield is entire and the sub-caudals are 14-38 and are paired. Ventral scales are 123-147. Coloration varies throughout their range.



They lock in our autumn, winter and spring. Males actively look for females, this is when you may see 2 males duelling. They raise up and twist and push each other in a bid for the strongest male to put his head on the rivals and force it to the ground. This establishes a winner who then has breeding rights with the female. In summer the babies are born. Puff adders have between 20-40 young. Exceptionally rare cases of 80 have been recorded. The young are born live, not in eggs and are around 15-20 cm long. 

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