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How to distinguish a viper from an adder: what venomous snakes look like. Photos

There are no deadly venomous snakes in Ukraine, but that doesn't mean you don't need to be careful. Source: Created with the help of AI

The warm season is the time when we like to go outdoors, which means we can meet a snake somewhere in the field or forest. Usually, these reptiles do not attack people first and try to run away instead, but still, in case of a bite, it is important to know whether you are facing a venomous species or not.

Only a few species of vipers live in Ukraine. Their bite, although dangerous, is usually not fatal. OBOZ.UA found out how to distinguish a dangerous viper from an ordinary snake that is unlikely to hurt you.

How to distinguish a viper from an adder: what venomous snakes look like. Photos

Look closely at the head

A dangerous viper's head looks dangerous, too, as it has a pointed triangular shape. This part is also covered with small shields. Whereas the head of an adder is more rounded, and the shields on it are large. You can also notice the main difference - colored spots - behind the ears. They can be yellow or bright orange. In any case, if you see these spots, don't worry, you are looking at a peaceful creature that will soon crawl away on its own. However, dice snakes do not have such spots, although they are also quite safe.

If you can also see the eyes of a snake, remember that the pupil of a viper has an elongated vertical shape. And the pupil of an adder is round, almost like a human's.

Pay attention to the body shape

If you see a "slender" snake with a long tail without a clear transition between it and the body, don't be alarmed, it's an adder. Vipers are usually thicker, and the tapering to the tail is abrupt. Therefore, a venomous snake may look like it has been chopped off.

How to distinguish a viper from an adder: what venomous snakes look like. Photos

And the color

Most vipers have a zigzag pattern on their backs, while an adder is almost completely black. However, there are also black vipers, which is also worth keeping in mind, as well as the fact that dire snakes are colored with spots that are staggered. Because of this, they can be mistaken for a viper. Thus, take a closer look: if these are individual specks, not a continuous pattern, then it is still an adder.

What to do if the snake is difficult to see

If you notice any suspicious movement in the grass, don't try to move it quickly to see who is crawling toward you. First, stand still for a few seconds and think about how to get around the place where the snake might be. And start moving slowly, without sudden movements, along the chosen route. The viper is also not interested in being the first to attack you. Therefore, if you avoid it, it will also be happy to crawl away to a place where it will be calmer. As a rule, they are less afraid of people, but they will not want to be picked up and may bite you if you insist.

When walking in an area where snakes are found, take a stick or cane with you. Gently push the grass in front of you with it to see the reptile before you step on it. Once in sight, it will probably run away from you, and you can continue your walk.

How to distinguish a viper from an adder: what venomous snakes look like. Photos

What to do if you are bitten by a snake

Don't waste time trying to catch the snake, go in search of medical help right away. Even a nonvenomous snake bite can cause such unpleasant symptoms as swelling, headache, nausea and vomiting, fever, and even visual impairment. An attack by a viper has even more unpleasant consequences, although it rarely ends in death. However, after an encounter with a viper, you cannot do without seeking medical attention as the victim will need an antidote.

If medical help is far away, try to keep the victim as calm as possible: the less they move, the better. Give the person plenty of water. Snakebite causes intoxication and water is needed to remove toxins. Treat the wound on the skin with an antiseptic and be sure to remove everything you are wearing from the affected lim as if it starts to swell, nothing should compress it. If possible, apply ice to the bitten area.

How to distinguish a viper from an adder: what venomous snakes look like. Photos

What you shouldn't do after a snake bite

Never try to suck the venom out of the wound. This can lead to the fact that you will swallow infected blood and there will be two victims. In addition, do not apply a tourniquet and do not cauterize the wound as there is simply no need for this. Do not give the injured person alcohol: there are already enough toxins in their body, so do not make the situation worse. You can give 1-2 allergy pills if you have them with you.

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