The butterfly viper is 1 of 15 puff adder species, named for their characteristic threat display in which they puff up and enlarge their bodies to twice their normal size.
The butterfly viper is categorized in the Bitis genus and is one of the fifteen species of puff adders.
Members of the Bitis genus, including the butterfly viper, are called puff adders because of their characteristic threat display. When excited, these venomous snakes have the ability to enlarge their size considerably by inflating and deflating their bodies. This creates the puffed look that is approximately twice the normal size of the snake’s body.
Puff adders also make an extremely loud hissing noise through their nose as part of their respiratory function and puff loudly.
• Image | © Greg Hume, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-SA 3.0)
• Sources | (Firehouse, 2003; ITIS, 2017; Lipsett 2003; Mallow, Ludwig, & Nilson, 2003; Rogers, 2000; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2018)