Namibia, Africa

Superb Sidewinder adder is winding over a dune. It is lifting its head, focusing sharply with its eyes on something, while it has its tongue out. The snake’s body is curved on the sand.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 10 April, 2023

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This photograph was captured with a X-H1 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/1500s
  • ISO: 1250
  • Focal Length: 55mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4396 by 2930 pixels (WxH).

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To capture this remarkable Sidewinder adder, we had first to find it. Not an easy task. We searched in the bushes right beside the dunes until we found a snake buried in the sand. Of course, it got out when it saw us. This adder is a fast-moving snake. Not easy to capture. It is quite small in size, particularly when you try to catch up to it on your knees to get some photographs.

Sidewinder Adder is sidewinding over a dune in the desert. Its common names are Peringuey’s Adder, Dwarf Puff Adder, and also the Namib dwarf sand adder. Undoubtedly, that reptile is a venomous viper species. It leaves s-shaped tracks in the sand and has a careful camouflage. To regulate their body temperature, they hide in bushes and mouse holes. It buries itself just beneath the surface in the sand to ambush its prey. Only its eyes and the tip of its tail is exposed. Very hard to see! The snake lies waiting for any passing victim. As soon as this happens, the adder attacks to envenomate its’ prey. The snakes’ diet includes lizards and geckos. They hydrate from the moister they get from their prey, and they sometimes drink the water drops off plant leaves.

Sidewinder Adder, Bitis peringueyi, is on the list of the IUCN on the least concern. So far, their population is stable.

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1 comment for Sidewinder Adder Winding Over Sand

  1. Andrea

    Beautifully patterned snake!

    • Anette Mossbacher

      They are so small and pretty fast to dig themselves into the sand. Thank you, Andrea.

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