PICS & VIDEO: Up close and personal with the powerful and pretty puff adder

A close-up of a female puff adder.

A close-up of a female puff adder that was rescued in Assagay in May. Picture: Nick Evans

Published Jun 14, 2023


Durban snake catcher Nick Evans has gone to town with the two puff adders he recently rescued.

Since rescuing the two puff adders at the end of May in Assagay, Evans has shared a close-up photograph of one of the puff adders, a rescue and release video and more photographs.

“My friend Dylan Leonard and I spent some time recently photographing these two, before watching them go free,” Evans said.

The male was more brightly coloured than the female. Picture: Nick Evans

Explaining the photographs, Evans said that in the first two photographs, the male, which, as often is the case in puff adders here, was more brightly coloured than the female. The tails in male puff adders are also longer and more slender than the short, stubby tails which females have. So telling sexes apart is quite easy.

He said the female is in the third and fourth photos. She was a fair size bigger than the male, a really impressive specimen.

“Puff adders are really beautiful snakes, as you can see in the pics. Powerful snakes, excellent in the art of ambushing their prey, and highly venomous too, of course,” Evans said.

The female was a fair size bigger than the male. Picture: Nick Evans

In the video of the catch and release of the pair of puff adders, Evans and his snake-catching friend Nick Saunders went to Assagay to remove the snakes from a wood pile.

Evans and caller, Matt Wilson, remove some of the planks from the wood pile and Wilson spots one of the snakes.

After a bit of searching and looking under the wood pile, Wilson spotted one of the snakes.

Evans said it was the male.

Using the hook stick, Saunders scooped it up and placed it in the bucket.

After removing more planks, the female puff adder was spotted, nestled underneath a plank.

Using the same technique, Evans scooped up the female and placed her in another bucket, with a bit of help from Saunders.

“It had been a year to the day since my last puff adder call when we caught these two. So this was very special for me,” Evans said.

“The pair probably wish they'd been left in the wood pile, rather than being released into a natural area. But with dogs around, it's safer for both snakes and dogs that they've been relocated,” he added.

The male was more brightly coloured than the female. Picture: Nick Evans

On June 2, Evans shared a close-up of the female puff adder and shared a bit of information about puff adders.

“As you can see, puff adders have a large head, far bigger than that of the more common (in Durban) rhombic night adder,” Evans said.

He said that with large fangs and venom glands possessing a dangerous cytotoxic venom, it is not a species one wants to take a bite from.

“However, these misunderstood snakes, often deemed to be ‘fat and lazy’ (they’re actually powerful and intelligent ambush predators), do not live for biting people. Bites happen, yes, if one steps on or next to a puff adder that feels exposed, but they’d rather avoid conflict with people.

“Puff adders are among my favourite snake species. They’re just such an awesome, fascinating species,” Evans said.

The female was a fair size bigger than the male. Picture: Nick Evans

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