What Does A Copperhead Snake's Belly Look Like?


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Aidan McCartney answered
The Copperhead snake is so known for its reddish-brown or copper coloured head, however there are five subspecies of the snake, its Latin name is 'Agkistrodon contortrix'. These are:
Northern Copperhead ('Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen)
Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)
Broad Banded Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus)
Osage Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster)
Trans-peco Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster).

Each can usually be identified from one subspecies to the next.

The Northern Copperhead, found generally around the Appalachian Mountains and surrounding regions, has a pinkish-brown to tan coloured body arranged in an hourglass pattern, with dark spots and a dark underside. The Southern Copperhead can be found in over half the states in America. It is paler than its Northern counterpart, and has a lighter coloured belly with dark brown spots on the periphery.

The Broad Banded Copperhead is native to Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma and is darker than the Southern Copperhead with larger bands that do not constrict in the middle, hence its name, and a dark coloured belly. There is little difference visually between the Broad Banded Copperhead and the Trans-peco other than that the latter will tend to feature a strongly patterned belly compared to the former's less defined, plainer belly.

Finally, the Osage Copperhead is similar in pattern to the Northern Copperhead; however, the Osage Copperhead has more contrasting colours and lacks the dark spots of the Northern Copperhead.

An interesting fact about the Copperhead is that if it loses one of its fangs it is replaced by one of the five to seven fangs directly behind the original, no doubt a party trick Granddad's throughout the world would love to have in their armoury.

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