Common adder

Vipera berus

An adder slithers from the left side of the picture to the right with its tongue extended. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Vipers (Viperidae)
  • Length
    50 bis 80 cm
  • Habitat
    wetlands, forests and grasslands

Native and poisonous, but not fatal

Along with the aspis viper, the common adder is the only venomous snake living in Germany. Normally, their bite is not fatal, but it can cause symptoms of poisoning. This reptile species is native to all of Europe, sometimes still in altitudes of up to 3,000 meters. It is the only snake whose range extends beyond the Arctic Circle.

Variety of colors

The zigzag band on its back gives the adder its name. In addition to a grey or brownred basic color, there are also completely black animals. These so-called “hell otters” also occur around the zoo. In Germany, the adder is now considered to be endangered, as its natural habitat is dwindling more and more due to intensive agriculture and the drainage of the moors.

Adders and asp vipers can be clearly recognized by their distinctive slit-shaped pupils.


Distribution map adder