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Bitis facts for kids

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A Gaboon Viper, Bitis gabonica
Scientific classification

Bitis is a genus of venomous vipers found in Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. This group contains the largest and smallest vipers in the world. There are currently 14 species found. Bitis are commonly known as the "African Adders", or the "African Viper".


Both the largest viper, and the smallest viper in the world belong in this group. The largest viper, the Gaboon Viper, grows up to the length of 2 meters, while the smallest viper, the Namaqua Dwarf Adder, grows up to the length of only 28 cm. All African Adders have wide, triangular heads, a large, rounded snout, and small eyes.

Where they live

The African Adders are found in Africa, and the southern Arabian Peninsula.


African Adders are terrestrial (meaning they live and are found on the ground), and ambush their prey. They are slow, and sluggish, but they can bite their prey or enemy with amazing speed. African Adders are known for when being disturbed inflating their body, and hissing loudly. All African Adders are viviparous, meaning they give live birth. They eat small rodents like mice and rats, birds, amphibians like frogs and toads, other snakes


  • Puff Adder, B. arietans
  • Berg Adder, B. atropos
  • Horned Adder, B. caudalis
  • Many-horned Adder, B. cornuta
  • Gaboon Viper, B. gabonica
  • Angolan Adder, B. heraldica
  • Plain Mountain Adder, B. inornata
  • Rhinoceros Viper, B. nasicornis
  • Ethiopian Mountain Adder, B. parviocula
  • Peringuey's Desert Adder, B. peringueyi
  • Red Adder, B. rubida
  • Namaqua Dwarf Adder, B. schneideri
  • Kenya Horned Viper, B. worthingtoni
  • Desert Mountain Adder, B. xeropaga

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bitis para niños

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