Saturday, 6 April 2013
Many of you will already be aware that I have a soft spot for the adder. I think they are a very miss-understood animal, but extremely beautiful in their own right. What with all the cold weather we have been having over the past weeks, I was beginning to wonder when they would emerge for the first time.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw one of them out during a brief warm spell, but had seen no signs since... until today. This morning it looked like all our male adders were up and about, and quite active too. This is the first time I have seen them out properly this year, and with the weather promising to get a little milder, should mean they are out of brumation.
The male adders usually emerge first. They will look a little dull in these photos as they are yet to shed in to their new skins, once this is done then they will feed and start thinking about mating.
The females usually emerge a couple of weeks or more after the males, once they have all shed their skins it is often easy to tell what their sex is by the contrast in their colours. The males tend to have a very dark black zig-zag on a silver or grey base colour, while the females tend to have a less obvious deep brown zig-zag on a more brownish/copperish base colour.
We are still open everyday for another week for the Easter holiday, so if you are planning on coming along... leave a bit of time to see if you can see our adders basking out in the little sun we are getting lately.