Gaboon Viper/Adder Bitis gabonica

Gaboon Viper
Gabon Viper
The world's heaviest viper with the highest amount of venom is the pretty but bizarely-named Gaboon Viper, also called Gaboon Adder or Forest Puff Adder since it is closely related to the Puff Adder and can puff out its size when threatened. It comes from Gabon, Congo and other countries mainly in central Africa.
Gaboon Viper
Gaboon Viper
Gaboon Viper
There are two subspecies and some authorities say the one shown, B. g. rhinoceros, should be a separate species, the West African Gaboon Viper. Its artistic patterns are actually very effective camouflage in leaf litter. Although it is not generally aggressive, most bites result from it being accidentally stepped on. The "rhinoceros" in the subspecies name is due to the horns shown on the nose - it is also closely related to the similarly-patterned but more colourful Rhinoceros Viper, B. nasicornis, which could lead to confusion of names if B. rhinoceros is a species.
It can grow to over 5 feet (1.5 metres) length and eats mice, rats and even rabbits/hares.