ADDER STUNG. A term used, when horses or cattle are stung or bitten by any venomous reptile, or by hornets, horse-flies, wasps, hedgehogs, shrews, &c. The common British viper or adder abounds in the Hebrides, and in many parts of Britain, particularly in chalky, dry, and stony districts. Accordmg to Pennant and other naturalists they are viviparous, but proceed from an internal egg. This viper seldom exceeds two feet in length, though Pennant tells us he once saw a female nearly three feet long. The ground colour of the male is a dirty yellow, that of the female deeper. Its back is marked the whole length with a series of rhomboidal black spots, touching each other at the points; the sides with triangular ones; the belly black. There is a variety wholly black; but the rhomboidal marks are very conspicuous, being of a deeper and more glossy hue than the rest. The head of the viper is inflated, which distinguishes it from the common snake. Catesby says, that " the difference between vipers and snakes or other serpents is that the former have long hollow fangs or tusks, with an opening near the point; the neck small, the head broad, the cheeks extending wide, scales rough, the body, for the most part, flat and thick; they are slow of motion; swell the bead and neck when irritated; and have a terrible and ugly aspect.'' The tongue is forked, the teeth small; the four canine teeth are placed two on each side the upper jaw: these instruments of poison are long, crooked, and capable of being raised or depressed at the pleasure of the animal.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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