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.

References and further reading

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 75

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

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 80

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 68

Wild Issue 47 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 16

Snakes & Snakebite in Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Johan Marais - Published: 2014 - Page: 24

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

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

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

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 231

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

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

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

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

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

go! - Issue 160 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 25

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 406

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

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

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

A Field Guide to the Eastern Cape Coast - Author: R. Lubke, F. Gess & M. Bruton - Published: 1988 - Page: 259

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

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

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

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

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

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 207

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

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


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