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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Puff Adder

Afrikaans name: Pofadder

Puff Adder

Puff Adder

Photo © stuporter - Fotolia.com

Bitis arietans arietans

Puff Adders are well known snakes that are feared by man. They can deliver a bite that is potentially fatal although deaths are rare. Puff Adders move slowly so they do not retreat to cover like most other snakes when disturbed. This means that it is fairly easy to accidentally stand on them which will result in a painful bite.

Their maximum length is around 1.2 metres but they are normally much smaller than this.

Puff Adders are well camouflaged as they lie on the ground waiting for prey. Their food includes small mammals, birds and sometimes even other snakes.

Female Puffs can give birth to up to 40 live young which are around 15 to 20 cm in length.

Puff Adders may be found virtually anywhere in South Africa. They are not found in true deserts and high altitude mountains.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa - Author: V.F.M. Fitzsimmons - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 188

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 172

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 76

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 121

Bill Branch's Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 98

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 609 - Author: - Year Published: 2012 - Page: 48

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 174

Kruger National Park Map - 2010 - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: 2010 - Page: 10

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 339

Questions and Answers - Snakes and Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 15

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 406

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 25

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 42

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 95

Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Tracey Hawthorne - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 42

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 39

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 228

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 308

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 222

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 252

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