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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.


TAdderhe 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.


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.