Animalia > Chordata > Reptilia > Squamata > Viperidae > Agkistrodon > Agkistrodon contortrix

Agkistrodon contortrix (Southern Copperhead)

Synonyms: Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix; Ancistrodon contortrix; Boa contortrix; Cenchris atrofuscus; Trigonocephalus contortrix

Wikipedia Abstract

Agkistrodon contortrix is a species of venomous snake endemic to North America, a member of the Crotalinae (pit viper) subfamily. The common name for this species is the copperhead. The behavior of Agkistrodon contortrix may lead to accidental encounters with humans. Five subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.
View Wikipedia Record: Agkistrodon contortrix


Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (Southern copperhead)
Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus (Broad-banded copperhead)
Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen (northern copperhead)
Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster (Osage copperhead)
Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster (Trans-pecos copperhead)


Female Maturity [1]  2 years
Male Maturity [1]  2 years
Litter Size [1]  6
Maximum Longevity [1]  30 years
Venomous [2]  Yes


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Central forest-grasslands transition United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Central U.S. hardwood forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Chihuahuan desert Mexico, United States Nearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
East Central Texas forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Edwards Plateau savanna United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Flint Hills tall grasslands United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Middle Atlantic coastal forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Mississippi lowland forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Northeastern coastal forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Ozark Mountain forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Piney Woods forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests Mexico, United States Nearctic Tropical and Subtropical Coniferous Forests
Southeastern conifer forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Southeastern mixed forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Texas blackland prairies United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Western Gulf Coastal grasslands Mexico, United States Nearctic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands  

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Big Bend Biosphere Reserve National Park II 815561 Texas, United States
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge IV 8964 South Carolina, United States
Carl Sandburg Home National Hist. Site National Historic Site III 271 North Carolina, United States
Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve 310228 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, United States      
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge VI 66133 Arkansas, United States
Fort Davis National Historic Site   Texas, United States
Fort Scott National Historic Site   Kansas, United States
Gauley River National Recreation Area V 10157 West Virginia, United States
Great Smoky Mountains National Park II 515454 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park V 1926 Alabama, United States
Jean Lafitte National Hist. Park & Preserve National Historical Park II 17686 Louisiana, United States
Konza Prairie Biosphere Reserve 8617 Kansas, United States  
Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve V 166264 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States
Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve (Natn'l Park) National Park II 51235 Kentucky, United States
Moores Creek National Battlefield III 100 North Carolina, United States
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
New River Gorge National River National River and Wild and Scenic Riverway V 55591 West Virginia, United States
Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park 20001 Tennessee, United States
Ocmulgee National Monument V 693 Georgia, United States
Richmond National Battlefield Park III 1517 Virginia, United States
Roosevelt Vanderbilt National Historic Site   New York, United States      
Santee Coastal Reserve and Washo Reserve State Habitat Area IV 20850 South Carolina, United States  
Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve 37548505 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States  
Valley Forge National Historical Park VI 3509 Pennsylvania, United States
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge IV 26618 Alabama, United States


Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Mexico, United States No

Prey / Diet

Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)[3]
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad)[3]
Automeris io (Io moth)[4]
Blarina brevicauda (Northern Short-tailed Shrew)[4]
Blarina carolinensis (Southern Short-tailed Shrew)[5]
Citheronia regalis (Regal moth/hickory horned devil)[4]
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)[3]
Condylura cristata (Star-nosed Mole)[6]
Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew)[3]
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii (arnyi)[7]
Gastrophryne olivacea (Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad)[7]
Gryllus pennsylvanicus (fall field cricket)[3]
Lithobates blairi (Plains Leopard Frog)[7]
Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)[3]
Lithobates sylvaticus (Wood Frog)[3]
Malacosoma americana (Eastern tent caterpillar)[3]
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)[3]
Microtus chrotorrhinus (rock vole)[8]
Microtus ochrogaster (prairie vole)[4]
Microtus pinetorum (woodland vole)[4]
Napaeozapus insignis (woodland jumping mouse)[9]
Nerodia sipedon (Northern Water Snake)[3]
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)[3]
Parascalops breweri (Hairy-tailed Mole)[6]
Plestiodon fasciatus (Five-lined Skink)[3]
Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)[3]
Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper)[3]
Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)[3]
Reithrodontomys megalotis (western harvest mouse)[7]
Scalopus aquaticus (Eastern Mole)[6]
Sceloporus cowlesi (Fence Lizard)[4]
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)[3]
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)[3]
Tadarida brasiliensis (Brazilian free-tailed bat)[10]
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Accipiter cooperii (Cooper's Hawk)1
Accipiter striatus (Sharp-shinned Hawk)2
Aegolius acadicus (Northern Saw-whet Owl)2
Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)2
Agkistrodon piscivorus (conanti)1
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)4
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad)2
Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)3
Asio flammeus (Short-eared Owl)3
Asio otus (Long-eared Owl)5
Baeolophus bicolor (Tufted Titmouse)1
Bubo virginianus (Great Horned Owl)3
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)14
Buteo lineatus (Red-shouldered Hawk)1
Buteo platypterus (Broad-winged Hawk)1
Canis latrans (Coyote)1
Cardinalis cardinalis (Northern Cardinal)2
Charadrius vociferus (Killdeer)1
Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)5
Circus cyaneus (Northern Harrier)1
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)1
Coluber constrictor (Eastern Racer)1
Coluber flagellum (Coachwhip)2
Conepatus leuconotus leuconotus (American hog-nosed skunk)1
Corvus brachyrhynchos (American Crow)3
Crotalus horridus (Timber rattlesnake (atricaudatus))8
Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew)5
Cyanocitta cristata (Blue Jay)2
Didelphis marsupialis (Common Opossum)2
Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)4
Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat)1
Falco sparverius (American Kestrel)1
Geococcyx californianus (Greater Roadrunner)1
Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)1
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)1
Heterodon platirhinos (Eastern Hognose Snake)8
Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish)1
Ictidomys tridecemlineatus (thirteen-lined ground squirrel)1
Ictinia mississippiensis (Mississippi Kite)1
Lampropeltis calligaster (Prairie Kingsnake)4
Lampropeltis gentilis (Scarlet kingsnake)3
Larus delawarensis (Ring-billed Gull)2
Leopardus pardalis (Ocelot)1
Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)1
Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus (Florida Leopard Frog)1
Lynx rufus (Bobcat)2
Megaceryle alcyon (Belted Kingfisher)3
Megascops asio (Eastern Screech-Owl)4
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)2
Mephitis mephitis (Striped Skunk)6
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)2
Micrurus fulvius (Eastern Coral Snake, Harlequin Coralsnake)1
Mimus polyglottos (Northern Mockingbird)1
Molothrus ater (Brown-headed Cowbird)2
Mustela frenata (Long-tailed Weasel)1
Myiarchus crinitus (Great Crested Flycatcher)3
Neovison vison (American Mink)1
Nerodia sipedon (Northern Water Snake)6
Notophthalmus viridescens (Eastern Newt)2
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)2
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)1
Pituophis catenifer (Gopher Snake)2
Pituophis melanoleucus (Eastern Pine Snake)3
Plestiodon fasciatus (Five-lined Skink)2
Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)1
Poecile carolinensis (Carolina Chickadee)1
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Strawberry bass)1
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)5
Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper)1
Puma concolor (Cougar)1
Quiscalus quiscula (Common Grackle)1
Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)1
Scalopus aquaticus (Eastern Mole)1
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)3
Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird)1
Sitta carolinensis (White-breasted Nuthatch)1
Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch)1
Strix varia (Barred Owl)13
Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling)1
Terrapene carolina (Florida Box Turtle)2
Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake)7
Thryothorus ludovicianus (Carolina Wren)2
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)2
Tyto alba (Barn Owl)4
Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Gray Fox)1
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)10
Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove)1


Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)[3]
Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)[3]
Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)[3]
Strix varia (Barred Owl)[3]
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)[3]


Ampelocissus latifolia (American ivy)[3]
Lemna minor (common duckweed)[3]
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern)[3]
Sambucus nigra (European black elderberry)[3]
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)[3]
Typha latifolia (Reedmace)[3]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Abilene Zoological Gardenslaticinctus
Birmingham Zoo
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservat'n Societycontortrix
Budapest Zool.& Botanical Garden
Caldwell Zoocontortrix
Cameron Park Zoo
Cape May County Park Zoo
Central Florida Zoological Parkcontortrix
Chehaw Wild Animal Parkcontortrix
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardenmokason
Clyde Peeling's Reptilandmokason
Columbus Zoo and Aquariummokason
Dallas Zoo
Denver Zoological Gardens
Dickerson Park Zoo
Ellen Trout Zoo
Fort Worth Zoological Parklaticinctus
Gladys Porter Zoopictigaster
Greenville Zoo
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Houston Zoo, Inc.contortrix
Indian River Reptile Zoocontortrix
Indianapolis Zoomokason
Jackson Zoological Park
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardenscontortrix
Jesperhus Blomsterparkcontortrix
Kaliningrad Zoocontortrix
Knoxville Zoological Gardensmokason
Little Rock Zoological Gardenscontortrix
Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo
Louisville Zoological Gardenmokason
Maryland Zoo in Baltimorecontortrix
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquariumcontortrix
Moscow Zoological Park
Musee d'Histoire Naturelle de Tournai
Nashville Zoo at Grassmeremokason
Natural Science Center of Greensboro
Newport Aquarium
North Carolina Zoological Park
NY State Zoo at Thompson Parkmokason
Oklahoma City Zoological Parkcontortrix
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquariummokason
Potawatomi Zoolaticinctus
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
Rotterdam Zoo
Saint Louis Zoological Park
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquarlaticinctus
San Diego Zoopictigaster
Sedgwick County Zoophaeogaster
Smithsonian National Zoological Parkmokason
Societa Zoologica Di Pistoia S.R.L
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Staten Island Zoocontortrix
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoocontortrix
Tennessee Aquariumcontortrix
The Naples Zoocontortrix
The Philadelphia Zoolaticinctus
Toledo Zoological Gardens
Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum
Tygerberg Zoopark
Virginia Aquarium&Marine Science Ctrcontortrix
Virginia Living Museum
Virginia Zoological Park
West Midland Safari & Leisure Park Ltd
Western North Carolina Nature Center
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens
Zoo Atlanta
Zoologischer Garten Leipzig

Range Map

USA (Texas, E/C Oklahoma, E Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, S Illinois, S Indiana, S Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jerse;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Venomous snakes and antivenoms search interface, World Health Organization
3Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
4FOOD HABITS OF THE COPPERHEAD IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE, John S. Garton and Ralph W. Dimmick, Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science Volume 44, Number 4, October, 1969, pp. 113-117
5Blarina carolinensis, Timothy S. McCay, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 673, pp. 1–7 (2001)
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7Resources of a Snake Community in Prairie-Woodland Habitat of Northeastern Kansas, Henry S. Fitch, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research Report 13: 83-98 (1982)
8Microtus chrotorrhinus, Gordon L. Kirkland, Jr. and Frederick J. Jannett, Jr., Mammalian Species No. 180, pp. 1-5 (1982)
9Napaeozapus insignis, John O. Whitaker, Jr., and Robert E. Wrigley, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 14, pp. 1-6 (1972)
10Tadarida brasiliensis, Kenneth T. Wilkins, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 331, pp. 1-10 (1989)
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access