Peringuey's adder : The Sand Snake

Peringuey's adder : The Sand Snake

In the desert, where the climate is harsh, it is necessary to know how to adapt to this hot and arid environment. A lot of species succeed in adapting to it. Today we will discover the Peringuey's adder (Bitis peringueyi). Its name comes from a famous entomologist named Louis Péringuey. 

Also known as the Namibian Desert Viper, it is a species of snake of the Viperidae family. This means that it is a venomous serpent.  

👉 before starting the article, if you are a snake enthusiast, then visit our design serpent ring selection 

snake ring

1. Description of the Peringuey's adder

Bitis peringueyi is a viper commonly known as the Namib Desert Adder or Peringuey Adder. It is a venomous serpent that lives in the desert environments of Namibia and Angola. It measures between 20 and 30 cm long. Its scales blend beautifully with the sandy environment. It is of orange color with small darker spots. The tip of the tail is darker.

Adder's adaptability is one of the keys to their success. Some species have learned to live in the most inhospitable environments, such as the Namib Desert, located on Africa's southwest coast. 

Bitis peringueyi is a desert snake. In deserts, drought seems incompatible with any life form. But in the Namib Desert, winds from the South Atlantic bring some humidity. These few drops of water allow the fauna to survive.  

Peringuey's adder

2. Peringuey's adder diet

Living in the desert, a hot and dry environment, this snake will be very active during dusk and night. Its main food source is the gecko lizard. A small (too cute) reptile that lives mainly in the dunes of Namibia, South Africa, and Angola.

To hunt, it takes less than a minute to become silted up, letting only its eyes stick out, which are located high on the top of its short head. Once a prey approaches, it unfolds its pointed fangs and injects its deadly venom into it.

peringueys adder eating a gecko lizard

3. Bitis Peringueyi reproduction

The reproduction period of this adder begins around March-April. The female is viviparous and can lay up to 10 young. Despite the small size of snakes at birth, they restrict very dangerously for humans. 

bitis peringueyi

4. Peringuey's adder venom and toxicity

The venom of this snake is potentially fatal to humans. It is of cytotoxic type, they affect and destroy the cells, causing : 

  • Inflammatory symptoms: Pain at the bite site or extensive edema, and hypotension.
  • Hemorrhagic symptoms
  • Neurological symptoms: Paralysis of the muscles resulting in death by the arrest of the respiratory system.

Potentially dangerous to humans, this adder, fortunately, lives in an inhospitable environment for us. Although it is very venomous, it causes few human victims because it never leaves the desert areas.

Its bite requires the injection of an anti-venomous serum. 💉

peringueys adder bite

5. Facts about the sand viper

Like the horned adder (Cerastes cerastes), the Peringuey viper practices side-winding to move around. This crawling technique leaves discontinuous traces on the sand. The snake lifts its head and a loop of its body and resumes contact with the ground; simultaneously, and another loop is formed, and so on.
The viper thus proceeds by a succession of movements on the side. At no time does its whole body rest on the ground. When it moves, the Namib Desert Viper seems to roll on its side.

peringuey's adder crawling


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