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male or female

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Adder
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Vipera berus
Printed Date: 28 Jul 2021 at 2:58pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: male or female
Posted By: tim hamlett
Subject: male or female
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 11:59pm

Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 8:02am
hi Tim Nice one going by the colour I would say male but I have seen fatties that must heve been femaless in the past with darker colouration keith


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 9:16am
Hi Tim

agree with Keith, male, (as yet unshed)

Posted By: sussexecology
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 5:00pm

Looks like a male to me.

But you never know it could be a female;
reptiles will catch you out sometimes Smile

If you wanted me to put a bet on it, I would say 99% certain it was a male.  Hope that helps.

SE Reptile Ecologist

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 6:41pm
100% certain that is a pre-slough male here Tim. 

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 7:02pm
Probably worth a recap of the pointers

Main dorsal stripe Black - male

Side blotches well defined - male

Tail tapers gently - male

Background colour dark brown - most of them look like that pre-slough, he's probably actually grey under that winter coat and that is where the confusion comes from at this time of year as the background colour is typically female. But never from my observations with so much contrast to the dorsal stripe or side blotches.

It was TP put me straight on this a few years back when I posted an almost identical animal thinking it was female, it was huge for a male but he was right, within a week it had sloughed and there was no doubt from what he was getting up to that Tony was right. Wink

Posted By: tim hamlett
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 10:10pm
thank you

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2012 at 9:10am
Your welcome, lovely animal btw Smile

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2012 at 1:52pm
Another distinguishing feature I find useful in the field is the black above white pattern on the supralabial scales (above the mouth); in females it's chocolate brown or lighter with white above; see the pair below for comparison.  This black against white pattern persists even in pre-slough males at this time of year, when the general colour shows less contrast.

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