As an ambush predator, the butterfly viper is a non-aggressive, slow-moving, placid animal and will not bite unless provoked or hungry.
Preferring to hunt by ambush, the butterfly viper spends much of its life motionless, waiting for prey to wander by.
Unless provoked or hungry, the butterfly viper will not bite. It is generally considered a slow-moving, somewhat placid animal, less so than the Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica), but not as bad-tempered as the puff adder (Bitis arietans).
A captive specimen was described as hardly ever leaving its hide box, even when hungry. The viper once waited for three days for a live mouse to enter its hide box before striking.
• Image | © Ltshears, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-SA 3.0)
• Sources | (Firehouse, 2003; Lipsett 2003; Mallow, Ludwig, & Nilson, 2003; Rogers, 2000; Spawls, Howell, Drewes, & Ashe, 2004; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2018)