adder

adder

[ad-er]
adder: see viper.

Any of three or four species (genus Heterodon, family Colubridae) of harmless North American snakes named for their upturned snout, which is used for digging. When threatened, they flatten the head and neck, then strike with a loud hiss, but rarely bite. If their bluff fails, they roll over, writhing, and then act dead, with mouth open and tongue lolling. They eat chiefly toads and frogs. Heavy-bodied and blotchy, they are usually about 24 in. (60 cm) long. Though not adders, they are sometimes called puff adders or blow snakes.

Learn more about hognose snake with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Puff adder (Bitis arietans)

Any of several venomous snakes of the viper family (Viperidae) and the death adder, a viperlike elapid. Vipers include the common adder, puff adders, and night adders. Adders occur in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They range in length from 18 in. to 5 ft (45 cm to 1.5 m). The puff adder of Africa and the death adder of Australia and the nearby islands are particularly venomous, with a bite potentially lethal to humans. The name is also used for other snakes (e.g., the hognose snake).

Learn more about adder with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Adder may refer to:

Snakes:

  • Any venomous snake.
  • Vipera berus, a.k.a. the common European adder, a venomous viper found in Europe and northern Asia.
  • Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen, a.k.a. the northern copperhead, a venomous viper found in the eastern United States.
  • Acanthophis sp., a.k.a. death adders, a genus of venomous elapids found in South East Asia and Australia.
  • Heterodon sp., a.k.a. hog-nosed snakes, a genus of harmless colubrids found in the North America.

Other uses:

Search another word or see adderon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature