The Puff Ader is also called the Bitis Arietans , it’s a venomous viper species found in savannah and grassland from Morocco and western Arabia throughout Africa except for rain forest and Sahara.
The snakebite in Africa owes to various factors, aggressive disposition, wide distribution and frequent occurrence in highly populated regions.
The average size is about 1m in total length .The specimens are 190 cm in total length, weighing about 6.0kg.Specimens from Saudi Arabia are not large there are not more than 80 cm in total length. The males are usually larger than females with relatively longer tails.
Its head is less than a triangular shape with a rounded snout and a blunt. The head is wider than the neck.
There 7-11 interocular scales 3-4 scales suboculars and supralabials. Its head is yellowish white with scattered dark blotches. Its color ranges from gold to silver-gray.
The ground-color varies from straw yellow, light brown to black bands that extend down the back and tail. The bands are roughly chevron-shaped, that they may be u-shaped in some areas. They form 2-6 light and dark cross-bands on the tail.
The populations are flecked with brown and black, often obscuring coloration, giving animals dusty-brown or blackish appearance. The yellow white or yellow with a few dark spots. The young golden head with pinkish to reddish ventral plates toward the lateral edges.
The pattern consists of a narrow pale yellowish stripe that ran from the crown of the head to the tip of the tail. They dull-looking snake, the male specimens from highland of east Africa and cape province, south Africa they strike yellow and black color pattern.
This type of species is spread in Africa. It’s found in sub-Saharan Africa, these include the Mauritania,Benin,Morocco,Mali,Senegal,Chad,Nigeria,Cameroon,Senegal,Algeria,Ghana,Togo,Niger,Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, other areas are in the Eastern, southern and northern such as Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and the areas of south Africa. This occurs on the Arabian Peninsula, this place is found in southwestern Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
This type of snake is found in the habitats with rocky grasslands.
It can’t inhabit the areas of rainforest such areas along the coast of West Africa, central Africa the areas of central Dr Congo, absent Mediterranean coastal region of North Africa.
In the areas of Arab land it has been reported to be in the regions of the southern areas of Oman.
Puff Ader is a sluggish species, relying on camouflage for protection. The snakes are good swimmers they can climb with easy comfort; the snakes are often basked in low bushes. One of the specimens is found 4.6 m above the ground in densely branched trees.
In case of any disturbance the puff Ader will hiss loudly and continuously. They strike fast, easily as forward, before they return to their defensive position ready to strike, their force is very strong, the penetration is so deep, and the prey items are often killed by physical trauma. They penetrate soft leather.
Puff Ader strike to a distance of one third of their body length, although their young ones launch their entire bodies forward in process.
The snake can grip its victims, thus causing a quick return to its position.
Their prey includes birds, lizards, mammals and amphibians.
Females always produce pheromone to attract males, which might engage in neck wrestling. Females in Malindi followed by seven males.
Puff Ader produces large numbers of offspring with a report of 80, while 50-60 is unusual. The Newborns are 12.5-17.5cm in length. There many very large specimens, from East Africa, they give birth to the highest number of offspring. One female in Kenyan zoo gave birth to 156 offspring’s the largest for any species of snake.
Specimens are maintained for years on only one meal per week, when their offered food they will eat although the results of over eating is death.
The species is more snakebite than other African snakes. This combination of factors includes large size, wide distribution, common occurrence, long fangs their habit of basking by footpaths and sitting quietly.
The bites to humans can produce local and systemic symptoms. The serious bites cause limbs to become immovably.
The bites may lead to extensive shock, nausea, vomiting and watery blood oozing from the wounds, blood blisters, bruising, and painfall swelling of the regional lymph nodes.
The swelling decreases after few days, it occurs together with weakness period of semi consciousness or dizziness.
The poison may be deep, down to the bone in case it’s not treated with critical attention, necrosis will spread causing the skin tissue and muscles to separate from health tissue with serous exudates.
The slough might be superficial or deep, sometimes down to the bone. Secondary infections occur and result in loss of limbs and digits.
The rate of fatality is very high this depends on severity of bites .the Deaths are exceptional and occur in less than 15% of untreated cases. Some reports show severe envenomations 525 mortality rate. Most fatalities are associated with neglect or poor clinical management.