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Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix

     

     

Description: 
Variable in coloration, this pit viper is generally a peachy-tan color with dark crossbands that can be brown to reddish-orange (or a copper color). This snake has weakly keeled scales, a vertical pupil (not round), and an obvious heat-sensing pit between the eye and nostril. 


Size: 
Adults 22 - 36 inches (56 - 91 cm)


Eats: 
Mostly small rodents, but also feeds on lizards, frogs, and some insects (mainly cicadas).


Breeding: 
Breeds in spring and gives birth to live young in late summer to early fall. Typically has 1 - 12 babies that are
8 - 10" (20 - 25 cm) long.


Habitat: 
Woodlands and rocky areas near streams and ponds.


Other Information: 
Newborns have a yellow tail tip that they use as a lure to catch prey, however they lose this tail coloration as adults. These snakes bask in the mornings and retreat to shelter during the heat of the day, coming out again in the evening. Copperheads are commonly found near rock piles, logs, and other debris, using them as cover and also as a hunting ground. Their coloration allows them to blend in well with leaf litter.


Forms: 
Broad-banded copperhead (central Oklahoma)
Southern copperhead (eastern Oklahoma)
Osage copperhead (extreme northeast Oklahoma)

Range Map:


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