Bitis caudalis and cornuta

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Bitis caudalis and cornuta

Postby snakepeter » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:50 am

Hello...

I was looking for answer on my questions over internet and book I have available, but I decided to ask over here as well... I am sure it`s right place for it... :D
As I know, there are several "morphs" of Bitis caudalis coming from different localities, which are different in color. Could you please post your opinion about it over here? How many of them are presented? All pictures which could show us this differences would be highly appreciated.

Is this the same case with Bitis cornuta? Are there any "morphs" recognised among this species as well?

Thanks a lot for all answers (and pictures) :-P in advance...

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Postby Rob » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:26 pm

Fantastic topic!
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:12 pm

The different colour phases of B. caudalis are not really morphs in that you cannot breed "hetero for red" horned adders.

They are one of the highly adaptable species and like other snakes such as eggeaters (Dasypeltis scabra) it is possible to get highly variable colours depending on which area they come from. Even Puff adders have differing colours and patterns depending on where they originate.

The Berg adder B. atropos is also highly variable and it is possible to fairly accurately determine where the specimen came from by looking at the pattern (or lack of pattern). This would however be a fairly wide area that the snake would fall in to such as "Mpumalanga" which covers a few hundred square kilometres.

I have not found any other species which shows the same degree of variation as the Bitis caudalis though. The pattern and colours differ so radically it is possible to think that they are different species. Then just to confuse everything there are also horned adders which do not have "horns". This species has a massive distribution and I am sure it would be possible to group them into possible localities just by colour and pattern alone.

I will post some pics and you will have to forgive me if they have been posted before but I think this is a nice thread to group them with localities.
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Postby snakepeter » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:46 pm

Dear Bushviper,

thanks for your post. You answered exactly what I was looking for.
I didn`t mean morphs as different species/subspecies, but color variants depending on areas they come from... As I wrote, there is little information about this topic around different forums, but I think South African forum is the best place to put as much information together as it`s possible...

So please, everybody who has something to add into it, go ahead... ;) I am sure it can be interesting for many of us...

Peter
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Postby Bushviper » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:16 am

Here are some pics of various B. caudalis I have photographed over the years. I am just sorry that I did not photgraph the ones from way out localities that I also saw.

The first is a B. caudalis from about 50 km north west of Upington.

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This one is actually a very pretty one from just west of Pretoria. They are usually rather ugly. Their locality within the suburbs of Pretoria have been urbanised and they are probably extinct in this locality.

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This is a badly taken photograph of a more typical Gauteng B. caudalis but this locality is a good few kilometres east of the previous records.

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This one came from Mpumalanga but whether this is its origin or not I have no idea. It came from a petshop and they could have got it from far away and just lied to get rid of it.

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The red horned adders all came from the red namib desert area and this one came from just inside Namibia.

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These are babies from a wild caught gravid female who originates from the northern Cape.

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here is the mother of the babies. She has far more blue in her than any of the babies.

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This male is in with the red female above although he is from the edge of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park Area. Whether anything will come of this grouping I dont know as the female is fat but still eats. The male stopped eating for 4 months recently which would indicate that he was mating with her.

This male horned adder is from the white sandy area near the eastern seaboard of Namibia.

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Here is a more typical Limpopo province B. caudalis. Of all the horned adders bred in captivity these are bred the most often and take to mice rather easily.

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This specimen is way out of the normal recorded range of B. caudalis. She is from Zimbabwe and has finally started eating regularly. She is very small for an adult female that has been mated with but I have my doubts whether anything will come from this mating.

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Unfortunately I never recorded where this specimen came from and I have a suspicion it was also from the northern part of the Limpopo province.

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Sorry that is all I have for you. I will go to the trouble of recording all the B. caudalis I see in future just for comparative purposes. The SARCA website also has some horned adders that have been submitted.
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Postby Quintin » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:25 am

brilliant... great pics bushviper.

I so badly want to keep this species!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby snakepeter » Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:54 pm

Thanks a lot, all pictures and comments are very interesting... We all can see now easy how variable in color could Bitis caudalis be... :)
Every color is special in its own way, and that "white" male is amazing. He looks similar to Pseudocerastes sp. a lot... (sure, only by color). I keep my fingers crossed for succesful breeding of him with red female, she is very nice as well... Please, keep us posted about the result when time comes... ;)

Is there anybody else who can share his knowledge or notes about this topis? :cool:

Does Bitis cornuta show similar color differences depending on area of origin?
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Bitis cornuta

Postby Horned Adder » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:12 pm

Also Bitis cornuta is very variable in coloration, but it isn't so extreme as it is in the case of caudalis.

Biggest variations is between Bitis cornuta form Namibia und Southafrica. Within the Country it isn't sooo much variation. I have worked with animals form Kleinsee and very western of Springbock, and also with some from near of Lüderitz. Also the habitat isn't soo extremely big, you can find some populations of them only in western SA and ''southwestern'' Namibia. Have a look at my older postings here, you should at least be able to see some pics of Lüderitz cornutas.

Cheers

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Postby alexander » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:24 pm

Lovely pics :) . I found this horned adder on the road to Tankwa Karoo.

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Postby Zeek » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Great Pics :shock:
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Postby Hellemar » Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:50 am

Hi...


yepp, my browser seems to work fina again but now my keyboard is soaking wet by drewling... ;)



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Postby Pythonodipsas » Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:33 pm

Sorry but here comes a lot of pics and long answer...

I agree that B. caudalis can be so variable, even if 2 are found under the same rock1 there is a good chance of a difference.

Although one can generally identify the greater area from which it came. The most variable ones in my opinion come from the Namib plateau.

Here are pics (from a friend) of B. caudalis from different areas of the Namib Plateau (Windhoek, Karabib, Omaruru, etc).

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Here is an Absolutely Amazing Amelanistic B. caudalis from closer to the coast...Usakos I think.

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B. caudalis from around Etosha Pan in Namibia have always been known to be nice, here are three young specimens.

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Also In my experience the ones from the area around Aus in southern Namibia are always drab brown and almost patternless. I cant find the pics I had.

Below images of Horned Adders from Namaqualand, South Africa. In my experience are usually bright orange or reddish brown, sometimes with nice gunmetal blue markings.

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B. caudalis form Messina, Northern Province, SA....very nice!

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Onto Bitis cornuta. I have found them to be similar across the range except for those from the coastal regions of South Africa (Port Nolloth, Kleinsee, Hondeklipbaai) tend to be more reddish/brown (or have red/brown flecks) in them. Nice boldy marked ones resembling B. albanica are found in the Knersvlakte region of Souther Namaqualand.

Also there is a population of 'ghost phase' B. cornuta from an undisclosed locality near Luderitz, Namibia.

Coastal B. cornuta (Port Nolloth, Kleinsee)

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Standard cornuta from Namaqualand (Springbok)

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Boldly marked B. cornuta from Namaqualand Knersvlakte (Vanrhynsdorp)

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standard Luderitz B. cornuta

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[img]http://www.sareptiles.co.za/gallery/albums/userpics/10007/Bitis_cornuta_luderitz4.jpg[/img]

'Ghost Phase' B. cornuta from near Luderitz:

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Desert Mountain Adders. They seem to be the similar across the range except I once found a DOR B. xeropaga in at Aggeneys (near Poffadder) that was mostly dull reddish with feint markings (A little like B. rubida) I dont have a pic though.

A friend of mine also claims that B. xeropaga are sexually dimorpihic

Here is a picture of a bold male B. xeropaga mating with a duller female. Apparently most females are like this.

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Male combat in B. xeropaga

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CB B. xeropaga

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Berg Adders - B. atropos. Unfortunatley, I dont have many pics except for 2 from the south western Cape.

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Postby snakepeter » Sat Dec 23, 2006 3:51 pm

Whooouuu Craig, that is one amazing reply, thanks a lot for it :-P

It`s good you included also other species of small Bitis into this topic. There aren`t many pictures of xeropagas on net, so it`s always good to see few more of them... Amazing pictures of this rare species...

It looks like this thread is starting "grow" in nice way... ;)
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Postby Bushviper » Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:20 pm

I really dont care about what happened to any of these except the amelanistic one. To find an adult in the wild is amazing. A female as well. Is it still alive and is anyone going to breed it?
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:55 pm

Well I am sure its still alive somewhere. A friend in the USA who had the largest dwarf Bitis collection had this snake and just gave up one day and sold everything to focus on business. Besides this the guy had just had his B. rubida mate before he sold everything. He had everything including B. albanica! Only thing he couldn't get is B. inornata.

He sold his stuff to Several Europeans and I know Hank Molt (globalherp.com) and I think one of the Americans on this site (Phobos) got some stuff.
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