Adder (Vipera berus) is the scientific name for the common European adder, a venomous snake species found across Europe. It is the only venomous snake native to the United Kingdom. These snakes are relatively small, with adults typically reaching lengths of around 60-90 cm (24-35 inches). They are easily recognized by their distinct zigzag pattern along their back and their characteristic red or orange eyes.
European adders are not typically aggressive and usually only bite when they feel threatened or provoked. Their venom is relatively mild compared to some other venomous snake species, and their bites are rarely fatal to humans, although medical attention should always be sought if bitten.
These snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, meadows, heathlands, and woodland edges. They are known to hibernate during the colder months, emerging in the spring when the weather becomes warmer. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals, lizards, and occasionally birds.
In some parts of Europe, the common European adder is a protected species due to declining populations caused by habitat loss and fragmentation. Despite this, they are still relatively common in many areas across their range.
This Adder (Vipera berus) was on Hounslow Heath and had been killed. Seen in August 2020.