There are regional differences in body color and pattern throughout Virginia. Though these snakes primarily live alone, they do live in close proximity to one another. There are dark, rounded spots on the sides of the belly and the scales are weakly keeled. Young snakes hunt their prey actively by stalking potential meals. Unlike many other reptiles, newly born Copperheads remain with their mothers for a few days. At the western end of their range they live from Kansas to Texas. This species mates in April or May and 1-17 young are born from mid-August to early October. Food: Copperheads eat mice, other small mammals, birds, and insects. A darker spot usually occurs in the hourglass. Enter Search Term(s): Search DEC Home » Animals, Plants, Aquatic Life » Amphibians & Reptiles » Herp Atlas Project » Species of Lizards and Snakes Found in New York » Northern Copperhead … Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) Characteristics. Scientific Name: Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen Size: 24-36 inches (61-90 cm) in length Status: Species of special concern PAHERP Resource: Copperheads Mistaken Identity Habitat: Deciduous forest, open fields and clearings (ofter near streams, but water is not a habitat requirement), rock crops, rock ledges, open habitat with rock and vegetation. Though you should seek treatment for any venomous snakebite, those most at risk are children and the elderly. (61-90 cm). Adults primarily prey on rats, mice, and other rodents. Medical professionals estimate that only 10% of snake bites by this species are serious. The head is triangular and coppery-red with an hourglass pattern. If someone is bit, call 911 immediately and get to hospital as soon as possible. These reptiles live across a wide range in North America and throughout that range they occupy a variety of different habitat types. Like their wild counterparts, individuals in zoos eat rats and mice. Juveniles have the same color patterns as the adults, except that the tip of the tail is a sulfur yellow and juveniles lack the black flecking of the adults. Three Copperheads shared this log with a Timber Rattlesnake from Ohio (county data withheld). This species is dangerously venomous, however bites are rare, and a healthy adult is likely to survive a bite from one. The northernmost extent of their range is New England. During the breeding season males fight one another for the right to breed. In Ohio, it would be called the Northern Copperhead as either (Agkistrodon contortrix) or if subspecies are recognized (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen). Habitat: This is a woodland species found in forests, forest edges, rocky hillsides, and in junk piles. There are many accounts of Copperheads feasting on cicadas, especially periodical cicadas (Magicicada sp.). Typically, they do not surpass three feet. Scientists have found a component in the venom of this snake that might reduce or inhibit the spread of cancer! From Lawrence Co., Ohio. Copperheads are venomous. Map developed from published literature, examination of museum specimens, direct observations, and observations/photographs from trusted sources. The copperhead will often hibernate in the company of other snakes. It occurs at elevations below 910 meters in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats, including wetlands, forests, fields, and edge areas of all types. It may vibrate the tail rapidly when alarmed. However, this snake’s venom is less toxic than that of other North American snakes. IDENTIFICATION. This snake is found statewide, with the exception of the barrier islands. From there, populations live along the east coast to northern Florida. There are dark, rounded spots on the sides of the belly and the scales are weakly keeled. From Scioto Co., Ohio. The gestation period lasts about 83 days, and the litter contains anywhere from 1 to 21 young snakes. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. Though they vary in size, most adults measure about two or three feet in length. In fact, it often inflicts “dry bites,” in which they do not inject venom at all. The head is triangular and coppery-red with an hourglass pattern. Distribution: This species ranges throughout southeastern Ohio and the southern Ohio River border counties. Most bites occur because someone doesn’t notice the snake and steps directly on it. Northern copperhead, copperhead, highland moccasin, chunk head, death adder and (dry-land) moccasin have bands that tend to narrow dorsally, giving them an hourglass shape, whereas the others generally have bands of uniform width. Read on to learn about the Copperhead. The upper side of the body and tail are pinkish tan to dark brown, with hourglass-shaped crossbands colored chestnut to dark brown; most dorsal scales are sprinkled with black flecks. However, the exact coloration varies from one subspecies to the next. The northern copperhead is a pit viper, so named because of two heat-sensing pits located between the eyes and nostrils. They frequent suburbs, construction sites, and spend their winters beneath the foundations of houses. The species also lives in close proximity to humans. Additional Information:  Some authorities have split this snake into two species with no recognized subspecies. They are stocky snakes with copper-colored, brown or reddish-brown hour-glass-shaped bands along their body against a lighter background color. Copperheads are essentially a snake of unglaciated Ohio. This is a heavy-bodied, medium-sized venomous snake that grows to a length of 24-36 in. You shouldn’t fear these snakes, but you should respect them. Their bellies are pinkish and may have dark markings. Its diet varies based on how old the snake is, where it lives, and what season it is. Smaller juveniles eat insects, lizards, frogs, salamanders, and other small creatures. Description: One of Ohio’s most beautiful snakes. The adults use their camouflage to hide from potential prey while they wait for it to pass close enough to catch. Populations in some regions suffer from habitat loss or intentional killing. The northernmost extent of their range is New England. When the vibrating tail strikes vegetation, it may sound like a rattle, but this species does not have a rattle on its tail. The best course of action when encountering one is to give it a wide berth and leave it alone. Different subspecies in different regions tend to prefer different types of habitats. These snakes live quite close to humans, and because of this they result in some of the most common venomous snake bites in the United States. People refer to a few different species of snakes as “Copperhead.” Though you can find other snakes known by the same name in Australia and Asia, this article will focus on the North American species Agkistrodon contortrix. Learn more about Copperheads below. The species is widespread, and the overall population has high numbers. Picture by Andy Avram. Some references make much of the fact that a copperhead’s head is arrow-shaped or more broad than the non-venomous water snakes. At the western end of their range they live from Kansas to Texas. As winter sets, these snakes often congregate in large numbers to hibernate. Dangerous does not mean scary. Book Review: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Fishes of Ohio. Like all snakes, this species is carnivorous, which means that it eats other animals. You can find these snakes in most of the eastern United States and into the central regions of the country as well. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. After mating, the female retains the eggs inside her body and gives “live” birth. If prey is too large for them to subdue, they simply track it until their venom weakens it. Mice are the primary prey, but they also take lizards, small snakes, amphibians, small birds, and insects. Many zoos keep these snakes to educate guests about the myths behind snakes. Even though this snake is not quite the evil creature most people make it out to be, you should not own any venomous animal as a pet. These snakes, as are all our venomous species in Ohio, are very reluctant to bite unless disturbed or harassed. Distribution of the Copperhead. They house the snakes in relatively large enclosures with a wide variety of plants, logs, and branches to bask on.

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