Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Adder Extreme Close Up

While out surveying reptiles and amphibians for NARRS (National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme) my nephew Paul and I came across a male adder (Vipera berus). He was out in the open as the temperatures were around 14 degrees, but more importantly, he was getting ready to slough (shed his skin).

When snakes are getting ready to slough, fluid builds up between the new inner and old outer layers of skin to help with the shedding process. When this happens, their eyes turn a milky blue colour and their vision is impaired.

He knew we were there, but because were didn't harm him, he decided to stay put, which was fab news for me as I just happened to have my camcorder handy.

He hisses a couple of times, but that was because my movement was slightly too fast for his liking. I have been monitoring adders and grass snakes for years and know how to act around them, so as not to upset them or disturb them.

You may be surprised at this footage, especially when he kisses the front of my camera, but my point has always been this. Snakes are not monsters, they are beautiful reptiles, which deserve and need our respect and help!

Please Enjoy!