Thursday 9 September 2010

Adder (Vipera berus)

Tony Cowan sent us this picture of an adder found upside down and dead on the road just north of Claddach at the end of August. Nigel Hand from Herefordshire Nature Trust's Amphibian and Reptile team was able to identify it for us and thinks it is most likely to be a female, due to the thickness of the body and short tail from vent to tip. Although it's a sad sight, it's a rare chance for most of us to get a glimpse at the underside of an adder, and it's interesting to see the contrast in markings and scale patterns between the topside and underside. We are far more used to seeing adders as they appear below, in one of Gordon Yates's photographs...

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