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Superb snake sightings

A thing I love about this time of year is the opportunity to see one of my favorite native species*, the Adder (Vipera berus). This week the weather’s been perfect for spotting the males that have come out of hibernation. Over the past couple of years I have headed for a site I know in Derbyshire, which has proved particularly fruitful for observing both male and female Adders. These are such wonderful creatures, and spotting them as they bask in the spring sun is just superb. The place in Derbyshire is great, but this week I was lucky enough to observe 3 males at a site that’s completely new to me – literally 20 minutes from my home! It was so cool. It’s got me counting down to my visit to Corfu* in a few weeks, where I hope to find and film the Adder’s close and more venomous relative, the Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes). Here’s a clip of a female Adder found last year, which is not quite as conspicuously coloured as any of the males I saw this week, but is still a beautiful looking snake.

Please note: I DO NOT endorse the disturbance or handing of wild snakes. Many are protected, and some are very dangerous and should only be handled, when necessary, by experienced professionals. This clip was made for educational purposes only.

6 Responses

  1. Among such a huge amount of collections that Manchester Museum holds, this is my favorite, the Golden Mantella.

    It might be the smallest member of the Live Animals Gallery. I remembered when I first came across to its tank, I spent at least 5 minutes on finding it. Choosing this lovely frog not only because it has such a beautiful skin colour and the delicate size, but also it reminds of my childhood and my family in China. As my generation in China, almost everyone have heard of a bedtime story, which was also one of the most famous Chinese fairy tale-’Tadpoles Looking for their Mother’ (Story Intro). Um….. now I really miss my Mum! T.T

    Anyway, that’s my little story about this frog! You could also JOIN me to this Flickr Album http://bit.ly/digitalcurationproject, and seeing the others from my group talking about their favorites! We want to share our stories and feelings with you! More importantly, welcoming to leave comments!



    • Hello Meng,

      So good to hear that your favorite thing in the whole of Manchester Museum are our mantella frogs! Thanks for sharing this and your feelings about them, and also for highlighting your Flickr album. Last week I completely refurbished the mantella exhibit and we now have some baby ones on display that you may want to come in and see! They are really beautiful, half the size of the adults you have seen before but just as brightly coloured. They are in with some new baby day geckos. I hope you like the exhibit, and that other people will enjoy sharing their thoughts about the things they find of most interest in the Museum. Thanks again, and very best wishes, Andrew

      • Hi Andrew,

        Many thanks for responding to my comments so quickly. And I will definitely go to see those baby frogs.It’s such a brilliant idea of the breeding project for the endangered species! But I was wondering if you have a plan of sending some new members back to their natural habitat in Madagascar?

        I like the envrionment that the Live Animals Gallery have. Thank you for providing such a great place. It’s so nature that everyone in it seems relax and enjoying! Many wishes, Meng

      • Many thanks for your kind comments about our naturalistic exhibits Meng, we do our very best to ensure the animals thrive under optimum conditions. The Mantella we have on display are mainly to get visitors interested in the animals in the hope that they will start to care about where they come from, in this case Madagascar, where these highly endangered frogs are severely under threat. Unfortunately much of their natural habitat has now been destroyed, so there are limited placed they could be released. The animals we have on display are from Bristol Zoo, who are doing some fantastic work with breeding this particular species. We also work with them on the ex-situ conservation of our Lemur Leaf frogs. Hopefully in the future there will be other ways to support the conservation of the mantellas, particularly in Madagascar. You may interested in these 2 links which highlight the plight of mantellas and refer to the excellent amphibian conservation work being done by Bristol Zoo:



        best wishes, Andrew

  2. Andrew, really like the links you gave me which let me know more about those Mantella frogs. And I’m sure there have been many people just like me that through the live animal gallery to know those lovely but endangered animals. Like you said, not only knowing them, but people will more care about their life and future. I feel very sorry for what happened in their natural habitat, but only can I do now is to do my best to let more people get to know their story. Thanks again for sharing those important information!

  3. Very interesting. Emma told me about your blog.

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