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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Adder Courtship

The adder breeding season is one of my favourite fixtures in the nature-watching calendar. Just for a few days of fine weather in the late spring, the female adders go into heat very like a dog or cat, and all the male adders in the area are drawn in.

Adder - Vipera berus. Two males jostling for position by a female (the brown snake)
The males have a particlar wrestling 'dance' which they perform to determine which of them is the stronger. The winner chases off the loser and returns to guard the female from all comers.

I see adders throughout the warmer months of the year, but this is the only time when they are very active and not at all shy about human onlookers.

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