Copperhead (Agkistrodon contrortrix) by Terry Bailey

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Copperhead (Agkistrodon contrortrix) by 

The Copperhead (Agkistrodon contrortrix) is a member of the pit viper (Crotalinae) sub family of snakes found in North America. The Agkistrodon contrortrix is a highly venomous snake that is often encountered by humans. There are five subspecies currently recognised.

Adults usually grow to a total length of 50–95 cm (20–37 in), however, some snakes may exceed 1 m (3.3 ft), males are usually larger than females. The maximum length ever reported for this species was 134.6 cm (53.0 in) in 1931.

The body is relatively stout and the head is broad and distinct from the neck, this snake appears a little less blunt that the Cotton mouth snake (Agkistrodon piscivourus),due to the fact that the (Agkistrodon contrortrix) has a sloping snout extends, down and back, consequently, the top of the head extends further forward than the mouth.

The colour pattern consists of a pale tan to pinkish tan ground colour that becomes darker towards the mid-line, overlaid with a series of 10–18 (13.4) cross-bands. Characteristically, both the ground colour and cross-band pattern are pale in the Agkistrodon contrortrix).

These cross-bands are light tan to pinkish tan to pale brown in the centre, but darker towards the edges. These colour patterns and the distinct snout sloping down and back makes these species very easy to recognise.


snake, reptile, animal, copperhead, wildlife, nature, brown, tan, viper, pit viperi, herpetology, ophiology

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