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Broad-banded Copperhead


Southern Kansas through central Oklahoma to south-central Texas.


Wooded hillsides near streams or ponds


Colored with a dark hourglass shaped design on the body with a copper colored head. Eye pupils are vertical. There is a heat sensitive pit on each side of the head below a line from the eye to the nostril. Excellently camouflaged. Its soft colors blend well with leaves on the forest floor making it easy to step on and increase the chance of contact with children and pets.

Broad-banded Copperhead Click to View Bigger Picture

Will frequently lie motionless. Will often retreat, but if not, it will vibrate its tail and strike with a wide open mouth. Bites are seldom fatal to humans but poison does kill prey. Gregarious especially in the fall when they join with other snake species in dens for hibernation.


Mating usually occurs in the spring. Litter of 1 to 14 venemous young are born with each being 7 to 10 inches long at birth. Appearance is similar to that of an adult copperhead, but with a yellow tip on the tail. Gestation lasts 150-200 days.

Interesting Facts:

Copperheads are responsible for more venomous snake bites in the United States than any other species. However, their relatively mild venom has caused few fatalities.

Did YOU Know?
The record length of this type of snake is 4 1/2 feet!
Broad-banded Copperhead
Class: reptile
Genus: Agkistrodon
Species: contortrix laticinctus
Length: 24-36 inches
Average Lifespan: 40
Wild Diet: Mice, frogs, small snakes, insects, and small frogs
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building

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