adder


adder
adder1
/ad"euhr/, n.
1. the common European viper, Vipera berus.
2. any of various other venomous or harmless snakes resembling the viper.
[bef. 950; late ME; r. ME nadder (a nadder becoming an adder by misdivision; cf. APRON), OE naeddre; c. OS nadra, OHG natara (G Natter), ON nathra snake, Goth nadrs adder, OIr nathir snake, L natrix water snake]
adder2
/ad"euhr/, n.
a person or thing that adds.
[1570-80; ADD + -ER1]

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Any of several venomous snakes of the viper family (Viperidae) and the death adder, a viperlike elapid.

Vipers include the common adder, puff adders, and night adders. Adders occur in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They range in length from 18 in. to 5 ft (45 cm to 1.5 m). The puff adder of Africa and the death adder of Australia and the nearby islands are particularly venomous, with a bite potentially lethal to humans. The name is also used for other snakes (e.g., the hognose snake).

Puff adder (Bitis arietans)

Copyright © 1971 Z. Leszczynski
Animals Animals

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 any of several groups of venomous snakes (snake) of the viper family, Viperidae, and the Australo-Papuan death adders, viperlike members of Elapidae (elapid), the cobra family. The name adder may also be applied to certain other snakes, such as the hognose snake (Heterodon), a harmless North American genus. Among the adders of the viper family are the European common adder (Vipera berus), the puff adders (9 or 10 species of Bitis, including B. arietans), and the night adders (four species of Causus).

      The common adder, or European viper (V. berus), a serpent often mentioned in works of literature, is a stout-bodied snake that is widely distributed across Europe and Asia. It even ranges north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. It grows to a maximum length of approximately 85 cm (33 inches) and is usually gray to brown with a dark zigzag band on the back and spots on the sides. The common adder eats frogs (frog), young birds (bird), and small mammals (mammal). It bears its young alive, and 6–20 are born in August or early September. Its bite is rarely fatal to humans.

 The puff adder (B. arietans and others) is a large extremely venomous snake found in the semiarid regions of Africa and Arabia. It is so named because it gives warning by inflating its body and hissing loudly. The puff adder is about 1 to 1.5 metres (3 to 5 feet) long and is coloured gray to dark brown with thin yellow chevrons on its back. It is a thick-bodied snake with a potentially lethal bite, and it tends to stay put, rather than flee, when approached.

      Night adders (Causus) are small relatively slender vipers found south of the Sahara and are typically less than 1 metre (3 feet) long. They are active at night and feed nearly exclusively on frogs and toads (toad).

      Although death adders (Acanthophis) are related to the slender-bodied cobras, they are viperlike in appearance, with thick bodies, short tails, and broad heads. They are about 45 to 90 cm (18 to 35 inches) long and are gray or brownish with darker crosswise bands. Death adders typically occupy habitats ranging from desert to rainforest in Australia and New Guinea; however, A. antarcticus occurs near the more-temperate and maritime eastern and southern coasts of Australia. While their taxonomy is uncertain, death adders from New Guinea have been assigned to three species (A. praelongus, A. laevis, and A. rugosus). The desert death adder (A. pyrrhus) is found only in arid areas of Australia.

      As a group, death adders are sedentary predators that prey on frogs, lizards (lizard), and small mammals. They are live-bearers, giving birth to perhaps as many as 10 to 30 young. Death adders are dangerous snakes that produce a potent venom that causes death in about one-half of untreated cases.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Adder — may refer to:Snakes: * Any venomous snake. * Vipera berus , a.k.a. the common European adder, a venomous viper found in Europe and northern Asia. * Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen , a.k.a. the northern copperhead, a venomous viper found in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Adder — Ad der, n. [OE. addere, naddere, eddre, AS. n[ae]dre, adder, snake; akin to OS. nadra, OHG. natra, natara, Ger. natter, Goth. nadrs, Icel. na[eth]r, masc., na[eth]ra, fem.: cf. W. neidr, Gorn. naddyr, Ir. nathair, L. natrix, water snake. An adder …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adder — (n.) O.E. næddre a snake, serpent, viper, from W.Gmc. *nædro a snake (Cf. O.N. naðra, M.Du. nadre, O.H.G. natra, Ger. Natter, Goth. nadrs), from PIE root *netr (Cf. L. natrix water snake, probably by folk association with nare …   Etymology dictionary

  • adder — ► NOUN ▪ a venomous snake with a dark zigzag pattern on its back. ORIGIN Old English nædre «serpent, adder»; the initial n was lost by wrong division of a naddre …   English terms dictionary

  • adder — adder1 [ad′ər] n. 1. one who adds ☆ 2. an adding machine 3. a computer circuit that performs addition adder2 [ad′ər] n. [ME < nadder (by faulty separation of a nadder) < OE nædre < IE base * nətr, *nētr > L natrix, watersnake] …   English World dictionary

  • Adder — Add er, n. [See {Add}.] One who, or that which, adds; esp., a machine for adding numbers. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Adder — Adder, ist Pelias berus, s. u. Vipern …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Adder — Adder, soviel wie Kreuzotter …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • adder — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. puff adder, viper. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. viper, asp, snake. Adders include: European, spotted, puff adder, hognose snake, dwarf puff, night adder, milk adder, milk snake; see also snake …   English dictionary for students


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