Description: Yellowish, light brown, or orange with chevron-shaped dark brown or black bars.
Characteristics: The puff adder is the second largest of the dangerous vipers. It is one of the most common snakes in Africa. It is largely nocturnal, hunting at night and seeking shelter during the day's heat. It is not shy when approached. It draws its head close to its coils, makes a loud hissing sound, and is quick to strike any intruder. Its venom is strongly hemotoxic, destroying bloods cells and causing extensive tissue damage.
Habitat: Arid regions to swamps and dense forests. Common around human settlements.
Length: Average 1.2 meters (4 feet), maximum 1.8 meters (6 feet).
Distribution: Most of Africa, Saudi Arabia, and neighboring countries of southwest Asia (Figure E-38).
Figure E-38. Puff Adder Habitat