Southern Copperhead Rattlesnake

Southern Copperhead Rattlesnake: (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)

The Southern copperhead rattlesnake belongs to the crotalinae family, also known as a pit viper. Southern copperhead rattlesnakes average in size between 22 to 36 inches long, with the record being 53 inches long. 

Southern copperhead rattlesnakes have stout bodies, their head is triangular shaped and much wider than its neck. Their pupil of the eye is vertical and elliptical, also having a pit below each eye. Their color patterns consist of a pinkish – tan color with reddish – brown cross – bands on the body. They have wide bands on each side that begins to narrow along its back forming a shape of an hourglass. Southern copperhead rattlesnakes are mainly found in the panhandle of Florida, but they can also be found in the southern parts of the state. They inhabit a variety of different environments including swamps, water banks and residential areas.

Southern copperhead rattlesnakes are carnivores, meaning they only consume meat and primarily consume rodents, squirrels, small birds, frogs, lizards, rabbits and other small animals.

Southern copperhead rattlesnakes are nocturnal during the summer and normally active in the day during winter. Although copperheads are venomous, they are usually not aggressive unless provoked. When they are stepped on or agitated they sometimes deliver a warning bite, injecting little to no venom at all which is called a dry bite, all pit vipers are capable of dry bites. Their venom is haemotoxic, which causes damage to the red blood cells and the walls of the blood vessels. If you are ever bitten by a southern copperhead rattlesnake seek immediate medical attention.