Adder Vipera berus

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Adult length
: typically up to 65 cm; exceptionally up to 90 cm.

Description This robust stocky snake is easily identified by the dark zigzag line passing along the back bordered by rows of spots. A dark mark which takes the form of an 'X', 'V' or 'H' is located on the rear of the angular head and the pupil is vertical. Males are greyish, whitish, pale yellow or cream in colour with very dark contrasting markings, whereas females are typically a brownish or reddish colour with brown markings. Females also tend to be longer and wider than males and have shorter tails.

HabitatFound in a range of habitats including open heathland, woodland and moors. It requires sunny glades or slopes where it can bask and dense cover in which to take shelter.

PhenologyFrom March until hibernation in the coldest months.

By Benny Trapp (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons