Eastern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix

Eastern Copperhead

*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.


Other Common Names: 

Subspecies:  No subspecies recognized.

Description: 

Similar Species:  Juvenile Cottonmouths are often confused for juvenile Copperheads due to their vibrant pattern that usually darkens quickly as it matures. Notice below, however, that the pattern of the juvenile Cottonmouth is much more jagged than that of the juvenile Copperhead. There is also more spotting and such within the bands of the juvenile Cottonmouth than the juvenile Copperhead. Lastly, the thick black bar that runs through the eye and is bordered below by a thin white line is absent in the juvenile Copperhead.

Juvenile Cotton Copper

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Statewide.

Habitat:

Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  Eastern Copperheads are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G5 (Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  None

Louisiana Conservation Status:  Eastern Copperheads do not have any special status in Louisiana.

Author's Remarks: I have observed this species regularly in the Atchafalaya Basin, north of I-10, as well as Cypress Island Preserve (St. Martin Parish), Kisatchie National Forest (Natchitoches Parish), Tunica Hills WMA (West Feliciana Parish), Palmetto Island State Park (Vermilion Parish), and Frenchtown Road CA (East Baton Rouge Parish). I was fortunate enough in 2016 in Vermilion Parish to lift a log and find six neonates only a day or two old and an adult (presumably the mom) a foot or so from the babies.

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