Causus rhombeatus Lichtenstein, 1823, type locality not specified. OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Common night adder, demon adder; French: Vipére nocturne, vipère-démon; German: Krötenotter, Pfeilotter, Nachtadder, Nachtotter.
The night adder is a rather small, stout viper with a distinct rounded head covered by nine larger shields. The pupil is round. The dorsal scales are weakly keeled, and the body is cylindrical. The tail is short. The maximum size of this viper is less than 3.3 ft (1 m), but the average size is only about 11.8-23.6 in (30-60 cm). The normal color pattern is brownish gray with shades of green. Along the back there is a series of about 20-30 dark, light-edged rhombic blotches. On the head there is a characteristic arrow-shaped pattern. The dorsal pattern can vary locally, and occasionally there are patternless specimens.
The rhombic night adder is distributed widely in southern and eastern Africa and reaches the Cape of Good Hope in the south. It also has a scattered distribution in Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
It occurs in open habitats, such as savanna, grasslands, forest edges, and swamps.
The viper hisses ferociously when disturbed.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Frogs and toads are the most important prey items.
The species is oviparous and can lay from seven to 26 eggs.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Very few bites are recorded. ♦
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