Copperhead Snake

In the eastern parts of the US, the Copperhead Snake is the most commonly encountered venomous snake. The snake, which by the way has the Latin name Agkistrodon contortrix, has dark colored bands of different widths across most of its body aside from the top of its tail which has a green or yellow hue.

It can reach a size of 40 inches (1.05 meter) but the normal size of the Copperhead is in the range 24 to 36 inches (61-91 cm).

A Copperhead Snake eats small rodents, cicadas, birds, lizards, other snakes, frogs and other amphibians, spiders and all sorts of insects. The snake serves an important role in the ecosystem by controlling the population density of its prey. Without the Copperhead Snake and other snakes the population size of several species would reach inexpedient levels.

Copperheads can be found in many different types of habitats, but they do prefer to live close to water. The abundance of the Copperhead snakes in wooded areas or suburban areas is also relatively large. Copperheads have the habit of lying completely still when threatened, and so they are eradicated in large numbers on roads due to their habit of freezing when danger approaches.

This habit of freezing originates from its behavior in nature, where it is an advantage to remain motionless and wait for a threat to pass by.

Copperhead Snake Bite
Usually copperheads don't bite. However, if you grasp or get very close to one, it can and will bite you as a last line of defense. The Copperhead was responsible for approximately 37 percent of venomous snake bites in the US in 2001 (Lavonas E.J. et al., 2004)1

It is assumed that this percentage has remained constant over the years. Most bites from the Copperhead Snake are in the eastern parts of the US, so here the percentage is probably higher.

The venom from a Copperhead Snake bite is toxic, extremely painful, and requires immediate medical treatment yet is very seldom fatal. In fact, it is one of the least venomous snakes of the venomous snakes in the USA

It may however cause serious damage to your tissue and leave scars. Also there's always a risk of catching secondary infection caused by bacteria from the snake's mouth.

Therefore, there is no point in trying to handle these snakes unless you have formal training, regardless if a Copperhead Snake bites you or not. As the guy in the video says «Its not string venom but it put you to the hospital».

Behavior prior to a bite
Copperhead snake
When agitated, the snake will shake its tail to warn you. It has been noted that Copperhead snakes have a habit of lashing out after people. This initial warning will probably not inject large amounts of venom into your body if the fangs accidentally penetrate your skin. However, if the snake doesn't reach you, see it as a warning but not an attack. Don't mess with this snake - it's not aggressive but it will bite if felt threatened. Keep away from it unless you are trained in handling snakes.

Life Cycle of Copperhead Snakes
Copperheads breeds from the end of July until September, and females give birth to live, 7-9 inch long, young snakes. The young Copperhead is a bit lighter than the adult Copperhead, with a yellowish tint to the tip of their tails. Some herpetologist thinks that this is to lure lizards and frogs, but that's has never been confirmed.