Adders in the Scottish Borders
Adder (Vipera berus)
One of our shy and secretive group of reptiles, adders are highly protected and our only poisonous snake. Colour variations exist from almost black, with the zig-zag pattern just visible to almost cream and bronze. Your dog is more at risk than you are, if bitten, painful swelling sickness and fever result so do go and get treatment if bitten.
Adders share hibernaculums and can be seen in a group, on emergence from their winter sleep, sunbathing in the spring if you know where to look.
Found from the coast into the hills, adders are adaptable; eating frogs, newts and small rodents, digesting everything except hair and teeth. When out walking, path side sunny sheltered spots offer the best chance of seeing adders basking, but go slowly and don’t cause vibrations as this sends the adder into cover.