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Combat 2015

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 3:23pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Combat 2015
Posted By: will
Subject: Combat 2015
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2015 at 9:08pm
It was all over in two minutes, but always a special privilege to see one of the top ten wildlife sites in the UKBig smile


the winner and his mate:

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 11:14am
Well done Will, I've never even got close to capturing it on camera!

Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 12:14pm
awesome will. i suppose the key to seeing combat, as well as knowing where the reproductive females are, is to be out there as often as possible. i reckon i'll have to get very very lucky with my couple or three visits each spring. still, we live in hope!


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 4:44pm
Thanks guys.  I almost managed to get them in focus this year...

Tim, you're dead right - I reckon you need a really decent sized population (not easy) plus to have located newly emerged females, preferably with a male already in attendance (but not locked on, as it were) and then some good luck as well.  It doesn't help that the hierachy is quickly established and a male won't (I think) generally combat a previously fought male in the same season.   As an illustration of how tricky it can be, I spent the day today watching five pairs of adders and apart from one tiny male that was immediately repelled there were no signs whatsoever of dancing.   Good luck though, you never know!

Posted By: Rags
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 5:32pm
Fine photos Will and well captured - an event rarely seen and infrequently photographed.

Last year I was keen to try and capture some male combat and spent a good part of a day watching a very active 'silver bullet', slowly following behind the hedge at a discreet distance. He was clearly looking for some action, very active and indifferent to my presence. Things finally came together when a smaller male happened along. Camera on tripod, 200 zoom attached, the two snakes emerged from under the hedge, not where I had expected but right at my feet. The 'dance' lasted around five seconds with the original male easily dominating things. My photos were out of focus but I was happy to witness the combat actually happening for the first time.

Once again congrats to Will for getting it right.

Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 7:46pm
'Once again congrats to Will for getting it right.'  Just luck, but thanks anywaySmile!  Following a silver male is also productive, I think, but on balance I would probably try to find a female and wait, if time is limited.  Would be great if one day you could stick a tiny head cam on a male adder!

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