Animalia > Chordata > Reptilia > Squamata > Viperidae > Bitis > Bitis arietans
 

Bitis arietans (Puff Adder)

Wikipedia Abstract

Bitis arietans is a venomous viper species found in savannah and grasslands from Morocco and western Arabia throughout Africa except for the Sahara and rain forest regions. It is responsible for causing the most snakebite fatalities in Africa owing to various factors, such as its wide distribution, frequent occurrence in highly populated regions, and aggressive disposition. Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.
View Wikipedia Record: Bitis arietans

Infraspecies

Attributes

Maximum Longevity [1]  16 years
Venomous [2]  Yes

Ecoregions

Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Use
Albany thickets South Africa Afrotropic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Albertine Rift montane forests Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi,Tanzania Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Angolan Miombo woodlands Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Angolan montane forest-grassland mosaic Angola Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Angolan Mopane woodlands Angola, Namibia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands Angola Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Atlantic coastal desert Mauritania, Western Sahara Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zambia, Malawi Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Drakensberg alti-montane grasslands and woodlands South Africa Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Drakensberg montane grasslands, woodlands and forests South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
East African montane forests Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
East Saharan montane xeric woodlands Chad, Sudan Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
East Sudanian savanna Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Eastern Arc forests Tanzania, Kenya Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Eastern Miombo woodlands Tanzania, Mozambique Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Eastern Zimbabwe montane forest-grassland mosaic Zimbabwe, Mozambique Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Eritrean coastal desert Eritrea Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands Ethiopia, Eritrea Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Ethiopian montane moorlands Ethiopia Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Guinean forest-savanna mosaic Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Highveld grasslands South Africa Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Hobyo grasslands and shrublands Somalia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Inner Niger Delta flooded savanna Mali Afrotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Itigi-Sumbu thicket Tanzania, Zambia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Jos Plateau forest-grassland mosaic Nigeria Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Kalahari Acacia-Baikiaea woodlands Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Kalahari xeric savanna Botswana, Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Knysna-Amatole montane forests South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
KwaZulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Lake Chad flooded savanna Nigeria, Chad, Niger Afrotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Lowland fynbos and renosterveld South Africa Afrotropic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Mandara Plateau mosaic Cameroon, Nigeria Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Maputaland coastal forest mosaic Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets South Africa Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Masai xeric grasslands and shrublands Kenya Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Mediterranean acacia-argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets Morocco, Spain Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe Morocco Palearctic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Mediterranean woodlands and forests Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia Palearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Montane fynbos and renosterveld South Africa Afrotropic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Nama Karoo Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Namib desert Namibia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Namibian savanna woodlands Angola, Namibia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Nile Delta flooded savanna Egypt Palearctic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Northern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Northern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Red Sea coastal desert Egypt, Sudan Palearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands  
Saharan flooded grasslands Sudan Afrotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Saharan halophytics Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Western Sahara Palearctic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Sahelian Acacia savanna Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Serengeti volcanic grasslands Tanzania Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Somali montane xeric woodlands Somalia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
South Malawi montane forest-grassland mosaic Malawi, Mozambique Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Southern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets Tanzania, Kenya Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Southern Africa bushveld Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Southern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Southern Miombo woodlands Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Southern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Southwestern Arabian foothills savanna Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Succulent Karoo Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Victoria Basin forest-savanna mosaic Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
West Sudanian savanna Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Western Congolian forest-savanna mosaic Gabon, Congo, Democratic Rep of the Congo, Angola Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Western Zambezian grasslands Angola, Zambia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Zambezian and Mopane woodlands South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Zambezian Baikiaea woodlands Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Zambezian coastal flooded savanna Mozambique Afrotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Zambezian Cryptosepalum dry forests Zambia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Zambezian flooded grasslands Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia Afrotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Etosha National Park II 5699141 Namibia  
Garamba National Park II 1237963 Democratic Republic of the Congo  
Gombe National Park II 8799 Tanzania
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park II 2382284 Northern Cape, South Africa
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve II 256073 Western Cape, South Africa  
Kora National Park II 409762 Kenya
Kruger National Park II 4718115 Mpumalanga, South Africa
Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve   Mpumalanga, South Africa  
Liwonde National Park II 116740 Malawi  
Malindi-Watamu Biosphere Reserve 48433 Kenya  
Malolotja Nature Reserve IV 42044 Swaziland  
Mlawula Nature Reserve IV 46444 Swaziland  
Namib-Naukluft National Park II 12585619 Namibia  
Naute Dam Recreational Resort V 58352 Namibia  
Omo Strict Natural Reserve Forest Reserve 328086 Nigeria  
Parc National de la Comoe National Park II 2902593 Côte d'Ivoire  
Parc National du Niokolo-Koba National Park II 2046878 Senegal  
Skeleton Coast Game Park II 4168395 Namibia  
Takamanda National Park II 167041 Cameroon  
Uluguru Forest Reserves   Tanzania      

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Cape Floristic Region South Africa No
Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania No
Eastern Afromontane Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zimbabwe No
Horn of Africa Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Oman, Somalia, Yemen No
Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland No
Mediterranean Basin Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey No
Succulent Karoo Namibia, South Africa No

Prey / Diet

Otomys angoniensis (Angoni vlei rat)[3]
Otomys irroratus (vlei rat)[4]
Xerus erythropus (striped ground squirrel)[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Aonyx capensis (African Clawless Otter)1
Ardea cinerea (Grey Heron)1
Asio capensis (Marsh Owl)2
Atilax paludinosus (Marsh Mongoose)1
Bubo africanus (Spotted Eagle-Owl)2
Canis adustus (Side-striped Jackal)1
Canis mesomelas (Black-backed Jackal)2
Civettictis civetta (African Civet)1
Elanus caeruleus (Black-winged Kite)2
Genetta tigrina (Cape Genet)1
Hemachatus haemachatus (Rinkhals, Ring-necked Spitting Cobra, Ringhals)1
Herpestes ichneumon (Egyptian Mongoose)1
Ictonyx striatus (Striped Polecat)1
Leptailurus serval (Serval)3
Lophaetus occipitalis (Long-crested Eagle)1
Mellivora capensis (Honey Badger)1
Naja nivea (Cape Cobra)1
Pseudaspis cana (Mole Snake)1
Python sebae (African Rock Python)1
Tyto alba (Barn Owl)2
Tyto capensis (Grass Owl)2

Consumers

Parasitized by 
Hexametra quadricornis <Unverified Name>[6]
Ophidascaris intorta <Unverified Name>[6]
Ophidascaris radiosa <Unverified Name>[6]
Ophiotaenia adiposa <Unverified Name>[6]
Physalopteroides grayicola <Unverified Name>[6]
Polydelphis anoura <Unverified Name>[6]
Rhabdias fuscovenosa[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

    Maps
Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
AB Boras Tropikhus
Abilene Zoological Gardens
Albuquerque Biological Park
Almaty State Zoo of Kazakhstan
Budapest Zool.& Botanical Garden
Cameron Park Zoo
Cango Wildlife Ranch
Denver Zoological Gardens
Emerald Safari Resort
 arietans
Houston Zoo, Inc.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Johannesburg Zoological Gardens
Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Montecasino Bird Gardens
Moscow Zoological Park
Nat'l Zoological Gardens of S. Africa
 arietans
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
Sharjah Breeding Centre For Endangered
The Naples Zoo
Tygerberg Zoopark
Zoological Society of London
Zoological Society of Trinidad &Tobago

Distribution

Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire; except in the Center), Congo, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, ; Takamanda Forest Reserve;

Photos

Citations

Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Venomous snakes and antivenoms search interface, World Health Organization
3Otomys angoniensis, G. N. Bronner and J. A. J. Meester, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 306, pp. 1-6 (1988)
4Otomys irroratus, G. Bronner, S. Gordon, and J. Meester, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 308, pp. 1-6 (1988)
5Xerus erythropus, Matthew D. Herron and Jane M. Waterman, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 748, pp. 1–4 (2004)
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access