If you’re not a fan of venomous snakes, then this article probably isn’t for you. By the use of simple ‘facts’ and also a video, we will show you just how important the copperhead is to the ecosystem.
If you encounter a copperhead, it is highly advised you not to try to kill it as you may risk getting bitten. If you have found a copperhead in your yard and garden, then it is safe to assume that there is a food source nearby, which is exactly why the snake is so comfortable on your property.
Copperheads are venomous snakes and members of the pit viper family. Pit vipers have a heat-sensing organ in a facial pit located between the eye and the nostril. The organ is useful in locating food by detecting the body heat of prey species. Copperheads are not generally aggressive snakes and rarely injure people. They are secretive but valuable members of the wildlife community in the states that they occupy. They range throughout most of southeastern United States and occupy a variety of habitats.
The copperhead is a carnivore. Adults eat mostly mice but also small birds, lizards, small snakes, amphibians and insects (especially cicadas). They are primarily ambush hunters, subduing their prey with venom and swallowing it whole.
Description – Reddish brown to brown venomous snake; chestnut cross bands, wide on the sides, narrowed on back, giving these bands an hour glass appearance; bands may be broken or incomplete across middle of the back; may have dark spots on body between the cross bands; single undivided row of scales underneath tail; triangular head; red or pink tongue; curved hollow fangs; vertical pupils
Ecological Role – Copperhead adults are ambush predators, while the young stalk and lure prey with their tail tip. Copperheads prey upon numerous animals that humans consider pests. Coyotes, cats, red-tailed hawks, and snakes such as milk snakes, black racers, and kingsnakes prey upon the copperhead.