Full Name: Horned Adder (Bitis caudalis)
Other Names: Horingadder; Horingsman
A small adder, averaging 25 – 40 cm with a maximum length of nearly 60 cm and usually has two prominent horns – one above each eye. It is widespread occurring from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape, Northern Cape, North West, Gauteng and Limpopo, as well as further north. There is a great deal of colour variation and this is usually linked to the colour of the sand in the area.
Like Peringuey’s Adder it also buries itself in loose sand with just the top of the head and eyes exposed. When approached it inflates the body and hisses loudly and will strike repeatedly. The Horned Adder is most active at dusk and early evening and spends most of the day in the shade of shrubs or rocks.
The venom of this snake is mildly cytotoxic, causing swelling and much pain, accompanied by shock and local necrosis. Antivenom is not effective and is not required.