Gravid female adders!

Well, it’s been a while since I did some local herping for a couple of reasons, firstly I’ve had my trips abroad over the last two months and secondly that is never seems to stop raining! At least where I live. Today it looked like it might not actually rain or be very cold (for early summer) so I ventured out, and upon arrival was surprised/amazed/mystified that the sun was actually out, and only disappeared behind the clouds for a couple of minutes at a time. These conditions seemed to be perfect for gravid female Adders (Vipera berus) and I almost immediately spotted a basking female next to a clump of heather. Minutes later a smaller female was seen basking next to a pile of stones but vanished before I could identify her. Minutes later she was back and I noted she was a female I know from last year. Venturing quite far from this site I explored an area where I always hoped there would be adders, and I was very pleased to find two freshly cast skins. With a little dedication I was able to find a very large basking female in this area, finally a specimen which is completely new to me, and easy to identify in the future owing to a small scar above her upper lip. After this I saw the first female out basking once again, followed by another small female climbing an embankment. In addition I flipped over a dozen Common toads (Bufo bufo). With the rain set to return this week I consider myself fortunate to have one half decent day out in the field, needless to say the weather this year has been completely rubbish!

Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Common toad (Bufo bufo) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
A pair of Common toads (Bufo bufo) under a stone (C) Matt Wilson
Skin of an adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

2 responses to “Gravid female adders!”

  1. Thanks. They usually allow you to approach fairly close. If the weather is hot they are usually a lot more wary, but if you approach them very slowly it is possible to take such photos. I usually move towards them when the wind stops, and when it starts blowing again remain still as this is when they seem to pick out that you are there.
    Matt

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