The EUROPEAN ADDERS's Total (body+tail) length up to 80 cm, males usually shorter. Body short and bulky, tail short, head well-defined. Pupils vertical. Ground colour grey or whitish-, yellowish-grey in males and brown or reddish in females, with a dark (black in males, dark brown in females) zig-zag pattern from head to end of tail. Large dark (same colour as of the zig-zag pattern) blotches along the flank. A conspicuous X or Λ shaped pattern on back of head. Belly is grey, grey brown or black. Underside of tail-tip yellow in both sexes. Jet black (melanistic) specimens are frequently found, especially in lowland populations. Scales keeled.
Distibution map by our National Herpetological Mapping Program: