The Copperhead Snake
Copperhead snakes are usually classified as medium-sized Saint Louis snakes. They rather have a wide body as well as a broad head.
Unlike other snake species, the copperhead snakes have a distinctive neck. They can be either be light brown or tan in
color combined with a dark, irregular banding. These bands are often solid in color but may also appear to fade in color -
getting lighter in color from the outside to the inside. These patterns (often triangular in shape) help camoflage them
as they slither along the Saint Louis forest floor.
According studies, the name "copperhead" comes from their distinctive copper-red heads.
There are other Saint Louis snake species that also called this such as:
• Water moccasins or cottonmouths
• Radiated rat snakes
• Australian copperheads
• Sharp-nosed pit vipers
However, these are not the same creatures as the copperhead snake that we are discussing now. It's scientific name is called Agkistrodon contortrix.
Copperhead snakes have relatively long lives for Saint Louis snakes as they live for up to 18 years. They begin their mating season in the months of February or
late August and end either in May or October. They have are "passionate" mating ritual where males will often fight other males in order to get the
female. However, the females don't necessarily take it lying down and may also in engage in some fighting with the males as well. Weak males who back
down from her challenges are rejected as potential mating partners.
Females of this species are what we call "ovoviviparous" which means that its egg incubate while still inside the mother and then born alive and with
fangs and venom! Young Saint Louis copperheads are roughly 8 to 10 inches long.
Copperheads prefer to live in terrestrial or semi-aquatic Saint Louis areas which may include:
• Rocky and forested hillsides
And they can be found living in rotting wood and even sawdust piles.
In the United States, this particular species inhabits many areas such as:
As with other Saint Louis snakes, the copperhead is carnivorous.
In the wild, it will eat certain animals such as:
• Other but smaller snakes
• Insects (they have a preference for cicadas)
As for captive or zoo-kept Saint Louis copperheads, they are often fed animals such as:
Copperheads are venomous. They will use their fangs to inject the venom into their prey in order to subdue it as they try to swallow it whole.
Copperheads are considered "semi-social" Saint Louis snakes which means that they prefer to hunt alone but will hibernate in what are known as
communal dens which they go back to every year.
They rely mostly on their ability to blend into their surroundings as a means of protection and are quite defensive creatures.
Should a Saint Louis copperhead get agitated it will warn others by producing a strong smelling musk and vibrate its tail very quickly.
It is possible to see a copperhead during the day in the spring and fall seasons but as soon as summer approaches they become
nocturnal. Their favorite nights are warm, humid nights right after a downpour.
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