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Adult specimens have a coppery colored head and neck. They are moderately sized snakes, with adults normally reaching 0.8–1.2 meters (2–4 feet), with thick, heavy bodies, although the body is more slender than most other pit vipers.

There are five clearly defined subspecies, all of which have distinctive light and dark brown or greenish banding: A. c. mokasen, A. c. contortrix and A. c. phaeogaster have bands that tend to narrow dorsally, giving them an hourglass shape, whereas A. c. laticinctus and A. c. pictigaster generally have bands of uniform width. The patterned underside of A. c. pictigaster, with its white and black banding, is especially distinctive. Intergrading occurs in areas where the geographic ranges of the subspecies overlap, and so pattern variations are commonplace.:razz:


[edit] Common names
Copperhead (snake), chunk head, death adder, highland moccasin, (dry-land) moccasin, narrow-banded copperhead, northern copperhead, pilot snake, poplar leaf, red oak, red snake, southeastern copperhead, white oak snake,[2] American copperhead,[4] southern copperhead,[5] cantil cobrizo (Spanish).[3]


[edit] Geographic range
Found in the United States in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In Mexico it occurs in Chihuahua and Coahuila. The type locality is "Carolina." Schmidt (1953) proposed that the type locality be restricted to "Charleston, South Carolina."[1]


[edit] Habitat
Within its range it occupies a variety of different habitats. In most of North America it favors deciduous forest and mixed woodlands. They are often associated with rock outcroppings and ledges, but are also found in low-lying swampy regions. In the states around the Gulf of Mexico, however, it is also found in coniferous forest. In the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas and northern Mexico, it occurs in riparian habitats, usually near permanent or semipermanent water and sometimes in dry arroyos.[6]


[edit] Conservation status
This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[7] Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend is stable. Year assessed: 2007.[8]


[edit] Behavior

Southern Copperhead, A. c. contortrix, at the southern limit of its range, in Liberty Co., Florida, camouflaged in dead leaves.Like all pit vipers, A. contortrix is an ambush predator: it takes up a promising position and waits for suitable prey to arrive. In the southern United States, they are nocturnal during the hot summer months, but are commonly active during the day during the spring and fall.

Like most North American viperids, these snakes prefer to avoid humans and, given the opportunity, will leave the area without biting. However, unlike other viperids they will often "freeze" instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them. This tendency to freeze likely evolved because of the extreme effectiveness of their camouflage. When lying on dead leaves or red clay they can be almost impossible to notice. They will frequently stay still even when approached closely, and will generally strike only if physical contact is made.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_snake
 

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Like most North American viperids, these snakes prefer to avoid humans and, given the opportunity, will leave the area without biting. However, unlike other viperids they will often "freeze" instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them. This tendency to freeze likely evolved because of the extreme effectiveness of their camouflage. When lying on dead leaves or red clay they can be almost impossible to notice. They will frequently stay still even when approached closely, and will generally strike only if physical contact is made.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_snake
This is just what that :censored: copperhead did while we were hiking. Laid beside the trail motionless blending in until we threw him off the trail with a stick. Half the party walked right by him until my daughter seen him and started screaming. The more I think about it, the less chances his kin has in another encounter. :wink:
 

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This is just what that :censored: copperhead did while we were hiking. Laid beside the trail motionless blending in until we threw him off the trail with a stick. Half the party walked right by him until my daughter seen him and started screaming. The more I think about it, the less chances his kin has in another encounter. :wink:
Watch out now, the snake police will be after you...:razz:
 

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Working in bridge inspection(A.K.A under bridges everyday, a cool, semi-dark
enviroment near water) snake encounters are numerous. The copperhead is the most dreaded because they DO NOT wait to be touched to strike and, DO NOT run if given the chance! Pracatically all other snakes we deal with will leave given the chance, but ol' copper won't. Kinda like my Dad and his farm!
 
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