Copperhead - (Agkistrodon contortrix)

A venomous snake of the eastern and central United States, having a reddish-brown or coppery orange body marked with darker crossbands arranged in an hourglass pattern, elliptical eyes and short,stubby tail and all juvenile copperheads, has a yellow tail tip. The southern copperhead is similar to the West Virginia northern copperhead but their are a little bit different in coloration and the crossbands.        Back  Next      Wildlife Index!
Southern Copperhead
Southern Copperhead
Two families of venomous snakes are native to the United States. The vast majority are pit vipers, of the family Crotalidae, which include rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths (water moccasins). Pit vipers get their common name from a small "pit" between the eye and nostril that detects heat and allows the snake to sense prey at night. These snakes deliver venom through two fangs that the snake can retract at rest, but which spring into biting position rapidly. Virtually all of the venomous bites in this country are from pit vipers. Some--Mojave rattlesnakes or canebrake rattlesnakes, for example--carry a neurotoxic venom that can affect the brain or spinal cord. Copperheads, on the other hand, have a milder and less dangerous venom that sometimes may not require antivenin treatment.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA Consumer magazin
Four species of North to Central American species of crotalid snakes.
(1) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)(2) Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)(3) Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen)(4) (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus)
In the event of snakebite, take the victim to the nearest medical facility as soon as possible. Call the medical facility first if time allows. Even a person who has been bitten by a nonpoisonous snake should be treated by medical personnel, because some people are allergic to the foreign protein in snake saliva. The best advice regarding snake bites is to prevent them in the first place. Snake expert Maynard Cox (1994) recommends:
Do not put your hands or feet where you cannot see.
Never handle a snake unnecessarily, dead or alive, poisonous or nonpoisonous.
If you come upon a poisonous snake, turn and run.
A snake normally can strike up to one-half or two-thirds of its body length, but if provoked it can strike up to its full body length. A common symptom of a poisonous snakebite from pit vipers (copperheads, cottonmouths or water moccasins, and rattlesnakes) is a burning, fiery, stinging pain at the bite site. Other symptoms could include swelling; skin discoloration; nausea and vomiting; a minty, metallic, rubbery taste in the mouth; sweating and chills. If the pain does not get any worse and remains localized, venom probably was not passed. If the pain becomes severe, venom was probably injected. Copperheads (Agkistrodon contortix) have a wide distribution throughout the central, mid-Atlantic, and southern United States. They can be found on wooded hillsides or in areas near water. Although the bite of a copperhead can be painful, it is unlikely to result in an adult human death.

Dos & Don'ts
Do not confront a snake turn and run
If bitten:
Do Reassure victim.
Treat for shock. Keep victim lying down; elevate feet 10 to 12 in.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call medical facility while enroute, if possible.
Donít cut and suck affected area.
Donít apply ice or a tourniquet.
Donít leave victim unattended.

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Richwooders does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any info or answers. Sometimes the West Virginia milk snake confused for a northern copperhead and other species are often mistaken for copperheads.

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