Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)

The most common and widespread venomous snake in NC, Copperheads are generally not aggressive nor deadly. Human bites usually occur only when stepped on or provoked, so it's best to simply appreciate them and leave these snakes alone when encountered.
Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
2 April 2012

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
2 April 2012

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
2 April 2012

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
2 April 2012

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
2 April 2012


Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
9 May 2013

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
21 July 2004

Copperheads are pit vipers, named for the pits between the mouth and the eyes. These pits house thermal sensors and are used to locate prey including insects, birds, rodents, lizards, & amphibians.

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) same individual

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
26 July 2004

Copperheads come in a few different color morphs and a couple of subspecies, but here in the NC piedmont is an intergrade zone. All 4 different individual snakes on this page were photographed from the same location (a research site in Duke Forest).

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) same individual

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Orange Co., NC
22 Sep 2004
Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co., NC
22 Sep 2004

Note the vertical pupils.


Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co, NC
7 July 2006

Young Copperheads have bright greenish-yellow tail tips. This youngster was maybe 12 inches long at the most.

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co, NC
7 July 2006

Close-up of the tail color.

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Orange Co, NC
7 July 2006

Again, note the vertical pupils that most venomous snakes in NC have.


Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
New Hanover Co, NC
14 May 2013
Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
New Hanover Co, NC
14 May 2013


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Created on ... Sep 7, 2004 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com