Can a puff adder kill you?

The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) is a venomous viper snake species seen in African savannah and grasslands. The species is the widespread and most frequent snake in the united states.

When disturbed the snake will coil into a defensive S-shaped position and hiss loudly, thus its common name”Puff adder”. This is used as a signal, it’s best not to ignore it, you really don’t wish to find out why.

If it becomes wrinkled, it will resort to an obvious serpentine movement moving surprisingly fast, with possibly fatal effects.

It can be found in the Majority of sub-Saharan Africa from Morocco and western Arabia around the Cape of Good Hope. The exceptions are that the Sahara desert, rain forest areas, and alpine habitats.

​This snake species can be commonly known as African American adder or common puff adder. Interestingly the unrelated American non-venomous hognose snakes ‘ are also sometimes referred to as”puff adders”.

The species color pattern varies , varying from yellowish, light brown, orange or reddish brown, overlaid using a pattern of dark brown to black chevron-shaped or U-shaped bands.

The stomach is white or yellowish, with some scattered dark areas. In the headthey have 2 dark bands that are very distinct, one situated on the crown and another involving the eyes. With the exception of the columns, their dorsal scales are strongly keeled.

​They use their organic cryptic coloration and patterns camouflage for hunting, and for defensive purposes since they are preyed upon by warthogs, honey badgers, and other predators like the mozambique spitting cobra.

That is a strong, compact and heavily built snake species with men being generally bigger than females.

The puff adder average size is approximately 40 inches (1 meter) in total span but larger specimens around 75 inches (190 cm) and weighing approximately 13.2 lbs (6.0 kg) using a girth of 16 inches (40 cm) are reported.

The puff adder appearance using a thick, stout body and flat, different, triangular mind is somewhat like that of its near relatives that the Gaboon viper (B. gabonica) and also the rhinoceros viper (B. nasicornis).


There are two subspecies are currently recognized by scientists.

Puff adder (Bitis arietans arietans – Merrem, 1820) – Located throughout sub-Saharan Africa into Cape Province in South Africa and at the southwest Arabian Peninsula and Yemen.

Somali puff adder (Bitis ​​arietans somalica – Parker, 1949) – This subspecies occurs just in Somalia and northern Kenya.

Can a puff adder kill you?

Puff Adder venom is cytotoxic, it destroys tissue but considered as slow-acting. But based on the LD50 of it it is thought to be among the most poisonous of any viper snake species. The venom yield in one bite ranges between 150 and 350 milligrams, with a maximum recorded of 750 mg.

Except to kill an adult individual it only takes about 100 milligrams, and departure may with happen within a day. A puff adder bite causes immediate acute pain, swelling, nausea, nausea, vomiting and later on necrosis with tissue and muscle damage.​

If not properly treated along with the venom spreads it will at some point result in gangrene and secondary diseases oftentimes resulting in reduction of digits and limbs.

Puff adder’s fatality rate is highly determined by the intensity of the bite medical treatment obtained by the sufferer. Its bite mortality rate is most likely about 15 percent if left untreated but as high as 52% in severe envenomations.

It is deemed accountable for nearly all snakebite fatalities in Africa, more than some other African snake, including the Black Mamba. This can be due to many factors, like its wide habitat distribution and their regular occurrence in areas that are highly populated.

The statistics are slightly misleading and do not indicate the effectiveness of these species venom itself. Even though the puff adder is often classified as the most dangerous snake in Africa, it isn’t the most deadly or even the snake in Africa.

What do puff adder eat?

They’re largely nocturnal, and seldom hunt prey actively, rather these snakes prefer to ambush their prey as it passes by. Their diet includes amphibians, birds, mammals, and lizards.

​Although these are slightly slow-moving snakes, they are highly aggressive and can make incredibly fast biting attacks they are among the quickest striking snakes on earth.

Surpassed only by the Australian death adder. It can strike within 0.25 of another both ahead and to the side. They hold their prey once the prey that is bitten is discharged as the venom is injected and tracked by smell.


The Puff adder is a ovoviviparous snake species meaning that the young grow within an egg that hatches within the female’s body. The mating season usually occurs in spring Once the female snake creates a pheromone utilized to attract the men

The males will engage each other in neck wrestling battle dances. Many men can follow A female at precisely exactly the same moment.

They give birth to a large number of offspring, 20 to 60 is usual, however litters of over 80 young are reportedthat the newborns are between 12.5cm and 17.5 cm long. The gestation period is between 7 to 9 weeks although it could reach a period over 12 months.

The bigger specimens, especially those from East Africa, will give birth to the highest amounts of offspring. A Kenyan female puff adder at a zoo that was Czech gave 156 youthful birth, the largest jumble for any snake species.


The species conservation status by IUCN Red List isn’t assessed, but they’re not listed on CITES. Their conservation is no issue with the puff adder being possibly the most frequent and prevalent venomous snake species in the African continent.

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