I recently purchased the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I read the fantastic Adventure of the Speckled Band. This is where I learned of the swamp adder, “the most dangerous snake in all of India.”
The interesting thing is that there are no swamp adders in India! The swamp adder (or viper), Proatheris superciliaris, resides in eastern Africa. They grow to about 40 to 50 centimeters in length. They are identified by their brown coloration and spotting as well as their characteristic elongated head and partially prehensile tail.
The Swamp Adder
Almost always found in low-lying marshes, floodplains and land frequently used for grazing cattle. They mainly feed on small frogs and toads. Occasionally, it also feeds on small rodents.
Sherlock Holmes would be appalled at Doyle’s blunder in this case. It was, “Elementary my dear Watson.”