Northern Copperhead

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Range
Inhabits northern and central Georgia and northern Alabama north to Massachusetts and west to Illinois; also northeast Mississippi and the piedmont of South Carolina

Habitat
Prefer terrestrial to semi-aquatic habitats, which include rocky-forested hillsides and various wetlands

Distinguishing Characteristics
Copperheads have a red, copper colored head with the rest of their bodies being pinkish to gray-brown with a dark chestnut colored hourglass-shaped pattern that is narrow on its back and wider at its side, meeting at the midline. The northern subspecies has dark crossbands that are wide on the side and narrow across the midline of the back. There are small dark spots between the bands.

Dietary Classification
Diet in the Zoo: mice

Diet in the Wild: primarily a carnivore eating mostly mice, but will also eat small birds, lizards, small snakes, amphibians, and insects, especially cicadas

Life Span
Ages of up to 30 years have been recorded

Behavior/Adaptations
Young copperheads have been observed to lure prey by twitching their brightly colored tails.
Copperheads are venomous and their bites are painful, but they rarely pose a serious threat to human life.

Status
No special status, but they are listed in the state of Massachusetts as endangered.