The adder is easily identified by a dark zigzagging line that
passes along its back, bordered by rows of spots. You’ll also see a
dark mark that takes the form of an X, V or H located on the rear
of the angular head.
The adder is the UK’s only venomous snake and
will only strike if picked up or stood on. Adders will try to
retreat into the vegetation if disturbed. At Porthkerry, the best
place to look for adder is on the western end of the pebble bank,
where they bask on the pebbles next to the cliff.
Males are grey, pale yellow or cream in colour
with very dark contrasting markings. Females tend to be a brownish
or reddish colour with brown markings.
Adders are active during the day and hunt
small mammals, frogs and young birds. Female adders reproduce once
every two years and give birth to 3-18 live young, unlike grass
snakes, which lay eggs.
Although the adder is not threatened with extinction in the UK
it is thought to have declined due to the loss of its natural
habitat – open heath and scrub.