Description

A stout bodied snake up to 65 cm with a thin neck triangular head and short quickly tapering tail. A distinct zig zag stripe runs the length of the body along the back in both sexes. Head markings vary from V, X or )( shaped markings which are unique to each individual. Males are predominantly grey, silver or beige in colour with a black stripe and head markings. Females are larger, being brown, tan or beige with dark brown dorsal zig zag and head markings. Juveniles are all born with a reddish ground colour and conker brown zig zag.

Distribution

Common across most of UK and Europe. Extending further North than other snake species.

Habits

Mainly diurnal, found active throughout the year if conditions allow. An ambush hunter primarily, though can be observed moving around on the hunt. Courtship and breeding take place in April with live young being born in August to September depending on conditions.

Habitat

Most often seen in dense vegetation on upland moors and forest plantations. Also present in some rural farmland. Localised pockets of adder found in certain areas so not as widespread across as many habitats as other reptiles.

Diet

Small rodents like shrew, vole and mice as well as slow worm, common lizard and chicks and eggs of ground nesting small birds like larks and pipits.

Adder, Viper Sightings