How to Identify a Copperhead Snake When Outdoor?

For most people who live in the US, they must have at one point encountered a copperhead snake. These snakes are quite common and would also be the worst enemy when provoked. It is the reason they are rated among the most aggressive species of snakes. As much as the venom is not very potent, it would still affect humans who get bitten by the copperhead snake.


Before you can decide to take on a camping trip, you need to learn how to identify a copperhead snake and stay out of its way. We get to look at some distinct features that would make you learn more about a copperhead snake.


1. The body size and the length​

The copperhead snake would have an average length of 3 feet and a body size of medium-sized snakes. You will also notice that they have muscular, thick bodies and scales that are ridged. The female copperheads would be longer in length than their male counterparts. The males on the other hand would have longer tails.

2. The color​

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When it comes to the color, it is easy to note that the copperhead snake comes in a single color ratio. Even if there were some variations, they would not be much. There are also the hourglass patterns that you get marked all over the body along with the brown and tan markings. The funny bit is that when these copperheads are born, they would be greenish-yellow in color and then later on change.

It is possible to encounter some non-venomous snakes of the same color of tan brown, but what you need to know is that the copperhead snakes will always have the hourglass shape marks on it.​

3. The head​

As for the head, it lacks the color patterns as compared to the rest of the body. You will find that it has some adornments in terms of dark spots at the top of the head. The head also comes out with the color of copper and it is the reason you get it being called copperhead snake.

The head is shaped like an arrow and it is easily distinctive along the neck. It also has a unique ridge on the top of the head between the eye and nostril.​

4. Eyes​

The eyes come with vertical pupils the same as you see in cats. The iris on the other hand is brown for each eye. The color of the iris can vary from tan to orange sometimes. The young copperheads would have a grayish color for the eyes, but this will change with time, as they get older.

5. The behavior​

The copperhead snake would use camouflage as a way of protecting itself. You would find it in places that look just like its skin color so that it can hunt easily rather than in other places that would make it easy to be identified.

The level of aggressiveness would often vary from one snake to another. Sometimes you can get that it would be quick at biting or retracting to run away. You can expect that it would be more aggressive when it is disturbed during a hunt or while resting. You will know that it is agitated when it starts to vibrate its tail faster and releases a strong smell.

The copperhead snakes would often be out hunting during the day when its fall and spring, but they become nocturnal when its summer time. The reason is that they like to go out hunting when it is warm and humid.

As much as they like to dwell on the ground, sometimes you will get them climbing over the trees and bushes. Climbing the trees is a way of looking for prey or just looking for a place to bask in the sun. It is still possible to find them swimming in the water sometimes.​

​6. Feeding patterns

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When it comes to feeding time, the copperhead snakes are carnivores. You will get them mostly feeding on lizards, birds, insects, and mice. The fangs found in the snake are used to inject venom into a prey so as to damage their blood cells. In no time the prey succumbs to death due to lack of oxygen. This means that the prey is now an easy meal for the copperhead snake.

One thing you have to hand it over to these snakes is being masters of ambush. Normally the copperhead snake would ambush the prey with a surprise attack and leave it helpless after injecting its venom into it.


There you have it; you can now easily identify a copperhead snake. If you are on a camping trail and you encounter the snake, make sure to keep a distance and leave it alone. Keeping your distance will make it less agitated, and no one ends up getting hurt easily by its venom.​

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