Contributor Galleries Bites very rarely lead to death in humans, children and older adults are considered most vulnerable. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. National Science Foundation Researches on Population Ecology, 18: 223-234. During the winter, they have been observed to bask on warm days in December and January. Schuett, G., J. Gillingham. They can inhabit a variety of habitats including forests, wet woodlands, edges of swamps, stream beds and gulches. Fortunately, their venom is one of the least toxic of all North American snake species. Further west, they are associated with riparian areas in mixed woodlands with stream beds and arroyos. These large snakes, found through the southern and eastern United States, have bodies that range from tan to copper to gray, with characteristic hourglass-shaped stripes. Originally signed to Mercury Records, their first single, “Long Way From Home”, was an epic Copperhead song that became the title song for the movie “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.” This can usually act as a sufficient deterrent from predation but kingsnakes and opossums are reported to be immune to their venom. Copperheads of both sexes reach sexual maturity at 3 to 4 years of age. The Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) is found in 28 states throughout the central and eastern United States. Pp. Upon parturition, the yolk sac membrane encasing a neonate is usually broken, releasing fully-developed young. Thermal ecology of the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix). The broad-banded copperhead is known to populate the region between 97 degrees and 99 degrees west longitude from central Texas north to the southern border of Kansas and Oklahoma. (Ernst and Ernst, 2011; Fitch, 1960; Greene, et al., 2002), Records of captive copperheads suggest long lifespans, ranging from 20 to 29 years. 2014. Biology Letters, 8: 983-985. The male that is able to keep his head lifted and raised the longest is deemed the winner and gets access to the nearby female and courtship ensues. The influence of prey-scent stimuli on predatory behavior of the North American copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix (Serpentes: Viperidae). Their close proximity with humans likely contributes to their status as the snake species with the highest number of bites within the United States. The American copperhead's range extends from Massachusetts southwestward to Texas' Big Bend. Thesis: Impacts of Invasive Plants on Resource Selection and Thermoregulation by the Northern Copperhead (, A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America, Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico, University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Publications, Society of the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Contributions to Herpetology, http://www.uta.edu/biology/herpetology/copperheads.htm, http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/agkcon.htm, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/64297/0, http://journalofherpetology.org/doi/abs/10.1670/14-017, http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-guide/compare6.htm, http://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/SERVICE/LIBRARY/index.php3?docID=418&docHistory%5B%5D=13, http://www.livescience.com/43641-copperhead-snake.html, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/498684/reptile/38478/Chemoreception, Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus: information (1). Upon birth, neonates may stay with their mother for several days or until their first shed. Like all pit vipers, A. contortrix is generally an ambush predator; it takes up a promising position and waits for suitable prey to arrive. Schuett, G., P. Fernandez, W. Gergits, N. Casna, D. Chiszar, H. Smith, J. Mitton, S. Mackessy, R. Odum, M. Demlong. uses smells or other chemicals to communicate. One exception to ambush foraging occurs when copperheads feed on insects such as caterpillars and freshly molted cicadas. (Carter, 2013; Ernst and Ernst, 2011; Smith, et al., 2009; Szalay, 2014). Schuett, G., J. Gillingham. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015. "Copperheads" (On-line). at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/64297/0. Common name: Southern Copperhead Generic name: Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (Linnaeus) Adult length: 24-36 inches; record 52 in. These results make it highly unlikely that a captive female stored sperm from a mate prior to capture (see below) for fertilization. 2008. 2011. (Ernst and Ernst, 2011), The components of A. contortrix venom have been frequently investigated for their potential use in pharmaceutical therapies and treatments. Adults have a copper colored head and neck. It is estimated that one third of bites produce effects requiring clinical treatment with about 10% considered serious. First, copperheads, and other advanced snakes, have a ZZ:ZW mode of genetic sex determination where males are the homogametic sex (ZZ). Receptive females have been known successfully mate with multiple males resulting in multiple paternity of a litter. 1988. This subspecies is found in the United States in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, East Texas, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, throughout Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, northeast to Massachusetts (which considers them endangered), New York Hudson Valley region, the Appalachian Mountain region and associated plateaus, also southwestern Pennsylvania. The Copperhead Snake is the most often encountered snake in Eastern parts of the United States such as Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas. The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students. Though we edit our accounts for accuracy, we cannot guarantee all information in those accounts. It is hypothesized that this pattern depends on local food availability. Copperheads are widely distributed across the eastern half of North America. Laboratory studies have reported that mice injected with copperhead venom are unable to move for 30 to 60 minutes. May 24, 2014 reproduction that is not sexual; that is, reproduction that does not include recombining the genotypes of two parents. at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/498684/reptile/38478/Chemoreception. Southern Copperhead (A. c. contortrix) - Extends through Massachusetts, westward to Texas and southeastern Nebraska. Bites very rarely lead to death in humans, children and older adults are considered most vulnerable. The Copperhead Snake (Agkistrodon contortrix) is shorter than both the Coral snake and the Cottonmouth snake. Males search for mates during the breeding season by detecting pheromones in the air with their tongues. "Copperhead snake: facts and pictures" (On-line). Gravid females also tend to use such sites and prefer microhabitats with higher temperature profiles. forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality. Copperhead. Males have been found to have larger activity ranges than females. Accessed 2002. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes). Topics 1996. Adults rely on crypsis and ambush hunting to attack prey, and therefore do not travel far while hunting. (Carter, 2013; Ernst and Ernst, 2011; Sanders and James, 1981; Schuett, et al., 2002; Smith, et al., 2009), Radiotelemetry studies have indicated that home ranges are greatly influenced by habitat availability in likely association with thermoregulatory opportunities. Grants DRL 0089283, DRL 0628151, DUE 0633095, DRL 0918590, and DUE 1122742. Accessed Male to male competition can be fierce and involves various types of combat. at http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/agkcon.htm. This species is easy to identify if you know what you’re looking for. The herpetology collection at the Florida Museum contains verified records from Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties. 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