Is this the Most Southerly Snake in Britain?

with 4 Comments
A Lizard Adder – sounds like a new species! Whilst photographing Brassica Shieldbugs (Eurydema oleracea) on a warm, south-facing bank on the cliffs at the most southerly tip Britain, on The Lizard peninsular in Cornwall, a stunning male Adder moved through the grass in front of us.

Insight: The UK has three species of snake but only the Adder or Viper (Vipera berus) is venomous.

In spring they are commonly seen sunning themselves on rough pastureland and open woodland having just emerged from hibernation.

Both males and females have a dramatic, dark zigzag pattern extending down the entire length of their bodies. Males are normally lighter in colour and rarely exceed 60cms, while the larger female may reach 75cms and is a less obvious duller brown. However, there is an entirely black form, a Black Adder, that is not uncommon and can be mistaken for other species.

Adders rarely bite people unless provoked and their venom is not life threatening if treated.

Their diet consists mainly of small rodents such as voles and they can go for long periods of time without feeding.

4 Responses

  1. Wildlife Insight

    Watch this space, there’s more to come!

  2. Wildlife Insight

    Thanks for your comment! I have to admit to not being entirely at ease with snakes myself but I do respect them for being part of the natural world.

  3. Gill

    Great photo, Just glad it was not me that came across this Gill

  4. Daniel

    I heard from a different website that adders in Britain are slowly dying out. I can’t say I’m upset about that.

    Luckily I’ve never came across one in my first 25 years but as you can probably guess from my comment, I hate snakes!

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