Puff Adder

Puff Adder with wide open mouth
Photo: Profimedia.cz

Puff Adder, Bitis arietans, of Africa is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. It is a fat snake but relatively short at an average length of 90 to 110 cm. This reptile gets it name from the way it puffs up when threatened. In Nigeria, it occurs everywhere but in the Niger Delta. This Viviparous reptile bears 20 to 40 young in the raining season. It is common in Africa, and distributed in almost every part but the Sahara and the rainforests. Due to the highly cryptic coloration of the Puff Adder it is prone to being stepped on inadvertently.

The coloration and heavily keeled scales give this species a generally dull appearance. Although bites are common, only a small proportion results in human fatality. Bitten persons are advised to lie down and minimize body movement. If possible, affected limb should be placed below the level of the victim’s heart. Wrapped bandage is advised not to be removed until a medical staff is administering or when antivenom and adrenaline is at hand.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer