Thursday, December 29, 2011

Creature Feature: The Copperhead

The Northern Copperhead:  Exquisite Camouflage

Abnormal pattern Northern Copperhead
This beautiful snake in one of the few venomous species that can be found while hiking in Maryland and Virginia.  Although considered a common species, these snakes are seldom seen due to their preference for nocturnal activity.  The most common times people come into contact with this snake is usually during the spring and fall when these snakes tend to be more active during the day due to cooling temperatures at night.

Northern Water Snake

The copperhead snake is very often confused with the extremely common northern watersnake usually seen around almost any body of water.  Here are a few images showing some of the physical differences.   Most importantly, to avoid being bitten by any snake just simply give it a wide berth, do not try to handle or harm the snake and both you and the snake will have a great day sharing the outdoors together!
Northern Water Snake Eye

Copperhead Eye

      There are several subspecies of copperhead that occur throughout the United States. The southern copperhead readily crossbreeds with the northern subspecies and can also be found on the Coastal Plain regions of Maryland and Virginia.

Southern Copperhead From North Carolina
***Lesser Known Fact:  Copperheads give birth to approximately one to fourteen live young usually around August through October.

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