Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wild Fact: Copperhead

Of the six venomous snake species in Georgia, the Copperhead is the most common. Growing up to four feet long, this beige to peach-colored pit viper has a relatively small triangular-shaped head, vertical pupils, and a heat-sensitive pit between each eye and nostril. Don’t get too close to see these features for identification though. Instead, learn to recognize its distinctive hourglass or saddle-like banding pattern. On young pit vipers, another good field mark is the bright yellow tail
tip. Small brown snakes without yellow on their tails most likely are not Copperheads but rather one of Georgia’s 35 non-venomous species.

WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division based at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia.

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