Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Aging Adder

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 18:30   #1
jackied
Jax
 
jackied's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Worcester, England
Posts: 453
Aging Adder

I found a young Adder in the Wyre Forest yesterday. A bit longer and about the same thickness as a pencil. Red brown in colour. Can anyone give me an idea of how old this snake is please. Is it this years young or last years?
Jackie
jackied is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 18:44   #2
PYRTLE
Registered User
 
PYRTLE's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Norfolk
Posts: 3,895
I doubt that it would be one of this year's (2019) hatchlings in mid April. My guess would be born last year.
PYRTLE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:25   #3
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
I doubt that it would be one of this year's (2019) hatchlings in mid April. My guess would be born last year.
Yep. Mating is in spring, births in late summer. Small thin snakes at this time of year are last year's young.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:29   #4
PYRTLE
Registered User
 
PYRTLE's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Norfolk
Posts: 3,895
Thanks FJ.
PYRTLE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 08:06   #5
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
I'd like to know why males are so infrequently seen?

During my time in Russia, Adders were common on my local patch but in 5 years, only two or three males were seen, the majority being mid sized females and very young animals.
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 12:50   #6
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
I'd like to know why males are so infrequently seen?

During my time in Russia, Adders were common on my local patch but in 5 years, only two or three males were seen, the majority being mid sized females and very young animals.
I admit that until you posted this it hadn't occurred to me that male Adders aren't seen as frequently as females. It doesn't seem to be an issue round here, at Pulborough or down in Dorset where I see most of my Adders.

However, I can offer a suggestion as to why some might have a bias in their observations: reading up on Adder sexing produces the fact that males have an even taper towards the tail whereas females remain broad almost all the way down and then have an abrupt narrowing followed by a narrow tail (making the tail rather more obvious as a structure).

But early in the season when Adders are seeking to maximise the solar heating they obtain, they all flatten out their bodies, broadening them along much of their length and creating the effect of a sudden narrowing where they run out of ribs. This could lead to misidentifying of males as females and a consequent bias towards reporting females.

Plausible?

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 13:15   #7
aeshna5
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Middx
Posts: 4,272
A few weeks ago at a west London site that has a substantial Adder population we saw about 20 Adders basking on what had been a cool largely sun free morning. All but about 3 were identified by the reptile expert as male. I was very pleased to see my first (3) black Adders.
aeshna5 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 14:20   #8
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
OK, here's a small range of shots for your perusal,
I'll try to find more when I have time.

I think the lower animal in the 4th pic is a male based on tail shape? These were both under a refugium that I repurposed for the job.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170607145137302.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	186.7 KB
ID:	692892  Click image for larger version

Name:	20180908061229361.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	152.4 KB
ID:	692893  Click image for larger version

Name:	20160510082615491.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	80.1 KB
ID:	692894  Click image for larger version

Name:	20150715083338602.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	609.2 KB
ID:	692896  Click image for larger version

Name:	20150630062216477.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	452.6 KB
ID:	692897  

__________________
Andy A

Last edited by andyadcock : Monday 22nd April 2019 at 15:30.
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 14:23   #9
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
And a classic male
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20180509125417535.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	627.0 KB
ID:	692899  
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 08:27   #10
Nigel Davies
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Norfolk England
Posts: 462
Lovely photos Andy
Nigel Davies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 09:37   #11
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Davies View Post
Lovely photos Andy
Thank you,
the first is probably one of that years young, it's in my footprint whilst the third, is the biggest we've ever seen there at about 70cm and is I'm fairly sure, a female.
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 20:06   #12
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,146
Well, in my opinion (others are available):

1. Can't tell, the critical bit is concealed beneath the snake!

2. Female.

3. Male for me: that looks like an evenly tapered tail. Big Adder!

4. Female top, male bottom.

5. Female.

'S not easy!

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 20:34   #13
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Well, in my opinion (others are available):

1. Can't tell, the critical bit is concealed beneath the snake!

2. Female.

3. Male for me: that looks like an evenly tapered tail. Big Adder!

4. Female top, male bottom.

5. Female.

'S not easy!

John
Hmm,
when you say 'evenly tapered', I thought the males had a skinnier, longer tail, the tail on 3 is fairly shortish?
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 07:32   #14
vipersgarden
Registered User
 
vipersgarden's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Obertrum near Salzburg, Austria
Posts: 181
In young adders it is more easy to check the "nose"shields for sexing.
In males, the borders of the rostrale and the nasals have a strong contrasting border, while in females the shields are unicolored.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	berusMann.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	89.1 KB
ID:	693065  Click image for larger version

Name:	berusFrau.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	92.8 KB
ID:	693066  
__________________
with kind regards
Mario Schweiger
http://vipersgarden.at
http://fieldherping.eu
vipersgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 07:53   #15
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipersgarden View Post
In young adders it is more easy to check the "nose"shields for sexing.
In males, the borders of the rostrale and the nasals have a strong contrasting border, while in females the shields are unicolored.
Thanks Viper, very usefull as I see many young animals.
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 16:32   #16
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Hmm,
when you say 'evenly tapered', I thought the males had a skinnier, longer tail, the tail on 3 is fairly shortish?
I try to visualise the snake in a straight line. On a female Adder there is a distinct step between the main body and tail but on a male there is a continuous taper from further up the snake down into the tail region. (See photo below from Pulborough last year).

I liked Vipersgarden's tip but noted that even on his demonstration photos the difference seems to be a matter of degree rather than an absolute. The female scales were not concolorous, displaying the same border as in the male but admittedly with much less contrast.

John
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20180505 (47)_Adder.JPG
Views:	19
Size:	559.6 KB
ID:	693094  
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 16:49   #17
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
I try to visualise the snake in a straight line. On a female Adder there is a distinct step between the main body and tail but on a male there is a continuous taper from further up the snake down into the tail region. (See photo below from Pulborough last year).

I liked Vipersgarden's tip but noted that even on his demonstration photos the difference seems to be a matter of degree rather than an absolute. The female scales were not concolorous, displaying the same border as in the male but admittedly with much less contrast.

John
I'd say the attached is a female John?

Males have a gradual taper giving the impression of a lonfer, skinnier tail where females tails are fatter and stumpier?
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 18:13   #18
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,146
Another view of the same snake. Contrasting borders on rostral scales = male according to Vipersgarden. And me.

Also, what I see on the tail end is a smooth taper, not a distinct step as in a female (your no. 5 shows the female tail really well: its like the shoulders on a wine bottle).

Have you got a closer view (or a crop at a pinch) of your No. 3's head?

John
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20180505 (45)_Adder.JPG
Views:	13
Size:	282.8 KB
ID:	693103  
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 18:49   #19
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Another view of the same snake. Contrasting borders on rostral scales = male according to Vipersgarden. And me.

Also, what I see on the tail end is a smooth taper, not a distinct step as in a female (your no. 5 shows the female tail really well: its like the shoulders on a wine bottle).

Have you got a closer view (or a crop at a pinch) of your No. 3's head?

John
No mate, it shot across the path double quick.
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 06:32   #20
vipersgarden
Registered User
 
vipersgarden's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Obertrum near Salzburg, Austria
Posts: 181
yes John, it is a male for sure :)
but dont give to much on the vipers colour. even females may be silvery grey.
On the pictures you see two females and one male. At the male's picture I have marked where the tail begins. The bump at the beginning of the tail are the pockets for the hemipenes.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	berusfem2.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	157.0 KB
ID:	693149  Click image for larger version

Name:	gravidBerus.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	109.1 KB
ID:	693150  Click image for larger version

Name:	berusMale.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	178.3 KB
ID:	693151  Click image for larger version

Name:	hemipenes.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	50.9 KB
ID:	693152  
__________________
with kind regards
Mario Schweiger
http://vipersgarden.at
http://fieldherping.eu
vipersgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 08:13   #21
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
As was suggested, I think I'll have to withderaw my statement on gender sightings, clearly unreliable.

Edit: I found a few showing heads to look at the nasal scales.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20130915130328418.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	240.8 KB
ID:	693185  Click image for larger version

Name:	20130915130422377.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	251.3 KB
ID:	693186  Click image for larger version

Name:	20150712131552672.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	404.8 KB
ID:	693187  Click image for larger version

Name:	20160602112807194.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	613.9 KB
ID:	693188  Click image for larger version

Name:	20170625112259180.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	455.5 KB
ID:	693189  

__________________
Andy A

Last edited by andyadcock : Thursday 25th April 2019 at 13:10.
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 13:12   #22
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
A few more,
I'll miss these guys this year, I've never seen one in the UK, extinct in Notts.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20180509125320935.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	361.8 KB
ID:	693190  Click image for larger version

Name:	20180918094825151.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	149.8 KB
ID:	693191  Click image for larger version

Name:	20181014094736328.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	77.4 KB
ID:	693192  
__________________
Andy A

Last edited by andyadcock : Thursday 25th April 2019 at 18:26.
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 6th May 2019, 05:18   #23
Scridifer
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
Scridifer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Byala/Essex
Posts: 10,000
Am I right in thinking this is a female? Thanks in advance,

Chris
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4717thumb.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	355.0 KB
ID:	694167  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4719thumb.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	287.8 KB
ID:	694168  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4720thumb.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	417.5 KB
ID:	694169  
__________________
Latest Lifers: Manx Shearwater - Black Guillemot - Roseate Tern
My 2019 List
Latest Patch Tick: Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Scridifer is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 6th May 2019, 07:43   #24
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham UK and St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 14,551
I'd say so, that's a striking animal, bosniensis?

Where was it taken?
__________________
Andy A

Last edited by andyadcock : Monday 6th May 2019 at 07:50.
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 6th May 2019, 08:50   #25
Scridifer
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
Scridifer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Byala/Essex
Posts: 10,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
I'd say so, that's a striking animal, bosniensis?

Where was it taken?
Hi Andy, taken in Bulgaria yesterday. Many thanks, it's a beauty isn't it!

Chris
__________________
Latest Lifers: Manx Shearwater - Black Guillemot - Roseate Tern
My 2019 List
Latest Patch Tick: Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Scridifer is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adder Brian2 Reptiles and Amphibians 8 Tuesday 21st August 2012 19:37
Adder andy hood Reptiles and Amphibians 15 Tuesday 1st May 2012 19:17
Adder ID nmcorley Reptiles and Amphibians 3 Thursday 11th September 2008 15:56
Adder or Asp Viper? nickderry Reptiles and Amphibians 6 Thursday 26th April 2007 18:52
Adder on Anglesey David Smith Reptiles and Amphibians 7 Thursday 19th April 2007 08:45

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.29467702 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 04:32.