Sloughing time

Flanders Moss NNR

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The adders seemed to have had a difficult time this Spring with the weather being so cold. Usually they spend many days in Spring warming up after hibernation but this year they have been few and far between.

But there are signs that they are starting to get their act together. The adder above has milky blue eyes and this is a sign that it is starting to shed or slough its skin. It eyes become blue as the scales start to lift off the eyes and this will soon by followed by the rest of its skin which will be shrugged off leaving a beautiful brightly-coloured fresh skin underneath (wish I could do this each Spring!). Adders with cloudy eyes are often more aggressive when cornered which is understandable if they are unsettled by not being able to see well. Most adders will do this twice in a year, not long after coming out of hibernation and later in the summer. This adder below is still wearing its faded, grubby overwintering attire.

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And this one below shows what an adder’s eyes look like the rest of the time – red and slightly angry looking!.

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