Can adders swim?

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chjo

Tenderfoot
Dec 6, 2009
67
0
cumbria
Was on an island in the lakes on Sunday and amazes to see my first ever snake in the wild,nearly stood on it was a couple feet long was chuffed to have seen it.Bit nervous treading through the undergrowth after seeing it though.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
Yes they can, very well. Although they don't swim as often as grass snakes as they inhabit drier areas like commons and heathland and don't feed on frogs and fish like grassies do.
 

Barn Owl

Old Age Punk
Apr 10, 2007
8,243
5
56
Ayrshire
I had my first swimming Adder just the other week.

Don't worry too much about where you tread,they'll be trying to get out of your way before they'd try a strike.
 

chjo

Tenderfoot
Dec 6, 2009
67
0
cumbria
I had my first swimming Adder just the other week.

Don't worry too much about where you tread,they'll be trying to get out of your way before they'd try a strike.

It did slither away once it sensed i was there nice to see it though.
 

Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
3,882
5
Dorset
Was it definitely an Adder? I'd guess it was more likely a Grass Snake.
I'm just making a judgement from the habitat and you saying that it was the first ever snake you've seen but I could be wrong though, not knocking you or anything.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
Was it definitely an Adder? I'd guess it was more likely a Grass Snake.
I'm just making a judgement from the habitat and you saying that it was the first ever snake you've seen but I could be wrong though, not knocking you or anything.

I'd go with that too. Quite a few people on seeing a grass snake misidentify it as an adder, especially this time of year when they are a darker colour and the lateral and dorsal markings are not as pronounced. The yellow collar also fades, so people just see the black V shaped collar and think adder.

The habitat doesn't sound like adder habitat at all, and an island would not hold the population of mammals an adder colony would need.
 

BarryG

Nomad
Oct 30, 2007
322
0
NorthWest England
Seen it with me own mince pies. Back in the Narm (Dagenham), believe it or not. Good 20 years ago though.
Swam accross a small pond, in what used to be the wasteground used by the homeguard.
Childhood memories eh!
 

chjo

Tenderfoot
Dec 6, 2009
67
0
cumbria
It was Black in colour with a lighter pattern up its back,,the island is only 5m from the shore and 15m across,looked like something had been eating some eggs in a nest ,shells were left l dunno if that makes any diference though.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
It was Black in colour with a lighter pattern up its back,,the island is only 5m from the shore and 15m across,looked like something had been eating some eggs in a nest ,shells were left l dunno if that makes any diference though.

Sounds like a grass snake. Adders have it in reverse, with the dark zig zag running down the back....

sexual-dimorphism-in-adders1.jpg


In fact, I'll post up a comprehensive snake ID this afternoon. That'll keep me out of trouble.
 

chjo

Tenderfoot
Dec 6, 2009
67
0
cumbria
To be honest it looked like neither but i was about 10ft away if this makes sense, it seemed mostly black but without a photo plus memory does play tricks as i wanted it to be an adder and now you've spoilt it [joking] ta for the info .
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
They are both adders in my pic, male and female, one of very few species that exhibit sexual dimorphism. Here's some grass snakes...

Grass-snake.jpg


58971055.P4120065b.jpg


There is another possibility of course, it may have been an eel.
 

chjo

Tenderfoot
Dec 6, 2009
67
0
cumbria
Wasnt an eel caught enough of them,looking at the pic of the Grass snake 75% sure it was one,thanks again saw my 1st Lizard as well couple months ago didnt even know we had them here.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
Wasnt an eel caught enough of them,looking at the pic of the Grass snake 75% sure it was one,thanks again saw my 1st Lizard as well couple months ago didnt even know we had them here.

Yeah, we have three species of lizard, well, actually five as the green lizard and wall lizard have large colonies in the UK now and are doing very very well.
 

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