At first glance this picture looks far from
exciting but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Hidden under the sand of the Namib desert in Namibia, Africa lies a well-camouflaged
snake. With just its beady eyes visible, the Peringuey’s
adder is almost impossible to spot as it prepares to ambush its prey. Sharp-eyed photographer, Wim Van Den Heever
was not only lucky enough to spot the snake but managed to capture the master of disguise
at work. Wim, 43, uncovered the snake while leading
a photographic safari tour. He said: ‘Part of what we do when we are photographing
in the desert is spend time looking for these desert animals and you don’t always find them.
‘We followed tracks to find this snake, it wasn’t a surprise as such, but once he is
settled in the sand it is very difficult to spot him, so we were lucky. ‘These snakes stay under the sand lying in
ambush trying to catch geckos and lizards. ‘It is also part of the defence mechanism,
it would be pointless for the snake to try and move away in an open environment so it
is a natural thing for them to hide under the sand.
‘These snakes are quite small which makes it even more difficult but you look out for
an indent in the smooth sand. ‘I love working with animals, I am always
happy to see I’ve captured the animal the way it is in nature, undisturbed under the
sand. ‘I’ve seen these snakes before but I have
never photographed them still submerged in the sand.’
The Peringuey’s adder is on average 8-10ins long and feeds on geckos. When prey happens
by, it is seized and envenomated.