A picture of a long puff adder has been going around on South African snake Facebook groups. Many people are surprised by how long the snake in the picture is compared to other puff adders.

Someone took a picture of the snake in Karkloof, KwaZulu-Natal. Who took the picture or when it was taken is not clear. Pieter Potgieter, a snake catcher from Pietermaritzburg, told The Witness that the snake was big, but not as big as it looks in the picture.

South African snakes Facebook group

“This is called a false perspective because the way the picture was taken makes it look bigger or longer than it really is.”

South Africa doesn’t see many puff adders longer than 1.3 meters. I think the longest puff adder ever caught in South Africa was 1.4 meters.


“It’s a good-sized puff adder, but it’s not even close to being two or three meters long. It’s likely somewhere between 90 cm and 1 m long. It’s how the picture is taken. “It looks very big and impressive in the picture,” he said. He also said that he was sure the snake had been seen in Karkloof.


Potgieter said that the picture shows a male puff adder.

“The male’s tail is long and sharp, while the female’s tail is shorter and stronger.”

Potgieter said that this picture of the snake has been seen by a lot of people.

“I’ve gotten it so many times, and it’s been posted on many Southern African reptile Facebook pages, where people are amazed by how long the snake is,” Potgieter said.

He said that seeing so many puff adders at this time of year is not unusual.

“In fact, snake activity as a whole has increased a lot because snakes are on a feeding frenzy between now and winter. They are out and about trying to eat as much as they can so they will be fat enough for winter.

“In South Africa, snakes don’t sleep during the winter. Instead, they brumate, which means they are still active, but not as much.”

Potgieter said that this is also puff adder mating season, which is why so many of them are being seen.

“At the moment, there have also been a lot of reports of male puff adder fights. This is because the males fight for dominance so they can mate with a female.”


He said that when the two males fight, they don’t bite or kill each other.

Potgieter said that in the past two weeks, he has also taken out a lot of puff adders from people’s homes around Pietermaritzburg.

He then warned people about puff adders, which are very dangerous because of their poison.

“Their poison kills cells and hurts a lot, but there is an anti-venom for that,” he said.


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