Bitis atropos – Berg Adder
Averaging 30 cm but specimens in the Western Cape may around 60 cm.
A short stocky snake, which ranges in colours from charcoal black, rusty red/orange with a number of lighter or darker patches along the back. These snakes have a short temper that will hiss and struck out violently when accosted. There are more or less three distinctive populations of Berg Adders in South Africa. Typically favouring rocky high altitude montane regions associated with grasslands in the East, although in the Eastern and Western Cape they may be found at sea level. Often sheltering under rocks and beneath grass tussocks, commonly seen basking on hiking paths in the Lesotho and Natal Drakensberg. Bites are uncommon and the venom seems to have largely neurotoxic properties which in some cases may cause prolonged effects on the senses. Affecting sense of smell, taste and sight in extreme cases. Like most dwarf adders they are heavily collected for the illegal pet trade both locally and internationally.
Is not used nor effective in the treatment of these bites.