Wild Adder at home with added shots

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Alf
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While out on a local safari I finally found an Adder
I was told where he lived on a verge beside a wall next to a road. He was laying out when I arrived and when she spotted me (I was close) she slowly moved off into the wall climbing upwards and appearing again looking out at me

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I have been it is male

Adder keeping lookout by Alf Branch, on Flickr


Adder heading home by Alf Branch, on Flickr
 
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Cobra

Mr. Floyd
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Phitt, Hissy Phitt
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Well spotted and captured Alf.
Both really good but I like the fun nature of peek-a-boo
 
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alfbranch
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Great images Alf, a good find...and a fantastic snake/adder. These beautiful snakes can be very addictive ;)

Im wondering who told you this snake is a male?!...because although im no expert on Vipera berus (adders) I would say this is a female all day long.
Male pattern colouration is generally black, whilst the females are generally reddish brown. There are of course variations, but since I cant see the lower part of the tail (which is a good way of telling what sex the snake is) then I have to go by your snakes colouration. Female Adder tails are stubby/thick towards the tail end, whilst the males tail tapers/thins towards the end of the tail.
Adult females are larger than the adult males too.

If you want to see both adult females and male Adder images (I have many!!!) where you can easily sex/compare these snakes, then if you have a spare few minutes, my Flickr Adder album here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/66760617@N08/albums/72157627519136004 might be of interest to you.
Cheers Paul.

PS. one of my images, with both sexes together, to clearly show colouration.
Pair of Adders, 11th-May-2012 by Testudo Man, on Flickr
 
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alfbranch
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Great images Alf, a good find...and a fantastic snake/adder. These beautiful snakes can be very addictive ;)

Im wondering who told you this snake is a male?!...because although im no expert on Vipera berus (adders) I would say this is a female all day long.
Male pattern colouration is generally black, whilst the females are generally reddish brown. There are of course variations, but since I cant see the lower part of the tail (which is a good way of telling what sex the snake is) then I have to go by your snakes colouration. Female Adder tails are stubby/thick towards the tail end, whilst the males tail tapers/thins towards the end of the tail.
Adult females are larger than the adult males too.

If you want to see both adult females and male Adder images (I have many!!!) where you can easily sex/compare these snakes, then if you have a spare few minutes, my Flickr Adder album here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/66760617@N08/albums/72157627519136004 might be of interest to you.
Cheers Paul.

PS. one of my images, with both sexes together, to clearly show colouration.
Pair of Adders, 11th-May-2012 by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Thanks for that Paul
It was Jonathan Deval who said it was a male on a non photography forum

Todays shot

Adder in the wall by Alf Branch, on Flickr
 
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Thanks for that Paul
It was Jonathan Deval who said it was a male on a non photography forum

Todays shot

Adder in the wall by Alf Branch, on Flickr
Another nice shot Alf.
Is he a "reptile man", ive never heard of him, to be fair, why should I have! ;)
Anyway, back to your Adder, the blue hue to the belly/lower body scales, suggests that she is on her way to sloughing/shedding her skin(hence her darker appearance). Once she "sheds" she will then look her best(colouration wise). If she is constantly sighted basking in the same area, even if she is disturbed, she then returns to bask, then there is a good chance she is gravid. Gravid females will not hunt/eat at all, they spend the whole time putting all their energy, into their unborn. Females don't mate/give birth every year (it takes too much out of the snake). If she was not gravid, she would hunt/feed, therefore you wouldn't find her basking in the exact same area month after month, because she would cover a larger area(rather than stay in the same area) in the search for food. Imagine her coming out of hibernation around March(having not eaten through several months of hibernation) if she didnt breed the year before, then mated around April...no feeding until she gives birth (to live) around August/September...that's a long time without feeding, so after giving birth, she only has a couple of months to feed, before once again going into hibernation. Will she even catch a meal before Winter? who knows? That may be why these Adders(females) do not breed every year.

As I said, just my observations over the years, of monitoring these fascinating creatures...….........hell, I may be wrong, your snake might not be a female?!;)

Heres another one of my images...this pair were observed mating. Note their bright colouration, they had shed/sloughed their hibernation skin, before they paired up. cheers Paul.
Pair of Adders mating (uncropped). 15th-April-2014. by Testudo Man, on Flickr
 
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alfbranch
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Another nice shot Alf.
Is he a "reptile man", ive never heard of him, to be fair, why should I have! ;)
Anyway, back to your Adder, the blue hue to the belly/lower body scales, suggests that she is on her way to sloughing/shedding her skin(hence her darker appearance). Once she "sheds" she will then look her best(colouration wise). If she is constantly sighted basking in the same area, even if she is disturbed, she then returns to bask, then there is a good chance she is gravid. Gravid females will not hunt/eat at all, they spend the whole time putting all their energy, into their unborn. Females don't mate/give birth every year (it takes too much out of the snake). If she was not gravid, she would hunt/feed, therefore you wouldn't find her basking in the exact same area month after month, because she would cover a larger area(rather than stay in the same area) in the search for food. Imagine her coming out of hibernation around March(having not eaten through several months of hibernation) if she didnt breed the year before, then mated around April...no feeding until she gives birth (to live) around August/September...that's a long time without feeding, so after giving birth, she only has a couple of months to feed, before once again going into hibernation. Will she even catch a meal before Winter? who knows? That may be why these Adders(females) do not breed every year.

As I said, just my observations over the years, of monitoring these fascinating creatures...….........hell, I may be wrong, your snake might not be a female?!;)

Heres another one of my images...this pair were observed mating. Note their bright colouration, they had shed/sloughed their hibernation skin, before they paired up. cheers Paul.
Pair of Adders mating (uncropped). 15th-April-2014. by Testudo Man, on Flickr
Having seen the latest shots here Jonathan agrees it is a female
 
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Dave
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One way to distinguish the sexes is to look at the rostral scale, on the tip of the snout. In males this tends to have a dark/black border, whereas in females it's paler brown. Your photos show clearly that this scale is quite pale, with a slightly darker border, so it's a female!
 
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alfbranch
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One way to distinguish the sexes is to look at the rostral scale, on the tip of the snout. In males this tends to have a dark/black border, whereas in females it's paler brown. Your photos show clearly that this scale is quite pale, with a slightly darker border, so it's a female!
I notice you said tend to so is that always or sometimes?
 
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Dave
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I notice you said tend to so is that always or sometimes?
I would hesitate to say "always", as there are exceptions to every rule! I've seen photos of adders with female-type colouration which have subsequently been proven to be males. These are probably quite rare though, so I would say that the rule about the rostral scale colour holds true in the majority of cases. Sorry, but nature isn't always as precise as we'd like!
 
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