Trans-Pecos Copperhead

Trans-Pecos Copperhead     Agkistrodon pictigaster

Type of Animal:

Rocky lightly vegetated canyon areas, under logs/wood piles, woodlands, streams, ponds, rocky outcrops/ledges, flower beds, human neighborhoods, compost piles, rock walls, flat stone structures, building debris,

Trans-Pecos region of W Texas & bordering areas of N Mexico

Light tan w/ dark brown wide crossbands, color varies from red-brown to light tan to gray-brown, elaborately patterned underside of irregular white & black patterns, young have bright green-yellow tail tip, color fades at 1 year of age

Rodents, birds, lizards, smaller snakes, amphibians, cicadas, caterpillars, eggs, grasshoppers

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, wildlife centers, & breeders

Solitary or small groups

Additional Info:


Male-10.54 oz
Female-10.08 oz
Young-2 oz

3-6 months 

Life Span:
8 years in wild, 15 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male-1.5 ft
Female-2.5 ft
Young-0.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male-4 in
Female-3 in

Main predators are bobcats, coyotes, raptors, kingsnakes, roadrunners, pigs, racers, corvids, indigo snakes, cats, dogs, & foxes.

They often den w/ other copperheads, as well as rattlesnakes.

Males engage in body-shoving contests over females in breeding season.

Like other pit vipers, these snake are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young that hatch inside mom’s body.

Usually breeds in spring.

If disturbed/threatened/agitated, they coil body up & raise head at 45-degree angle from ground in defensive posture. They also vibrate tail.

Also called chunk head, pilot snake, death adder, dry-land moccasin, & cantil cobrizo (these names apply to all copperhead species).

People sometimes kill these snakes out of fear.

These snakes are ambush predators.

Fun Fact(s):
If it loses a fang, it can produce replacement from set of 5-7 spares in gums.

Northern Democrats who opposed Civil War known as copperheads.

These snakes nonaggressive & never bite unless provoked.

Venom of baby copperheads just as potent as that of adults.

Death very rare from bites from these snakes since venom not overly potent. However, medical attention should always be sought since venom is hemotoxic, causing tissue damage.

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