Description: The copperhead is a pitviper and the most common venomous snake in most parts of North Carolina. Copperheads are rather heavy-bodied and are beautifully marked with dark brown, hourglass shaped crossbands on a light brown or gray background. The belly is a mix of white and black markings. Baby copperheads look like their parents but have yellow or green tails that they wiggle to lure lizards and frogs within striking range.
Feeding/Diet: Adults often use ambush tactics to capture a variety of prey including mice, small birds, insects, and frogs.
Activity/Behavior: Copperheads are usually active at night but can often be found moving around or basking during the daytime. In the mountains, they sometimes hibernate with timber rattlesnakes.
Habitat/Range: Copperheads are common in many forested areas but sometimes venture into open fields. They are rather tolerant of human development and can often be found in established, wooded neighborhoods.
Reproduction: Copperheads mate during the spring and fall and give birth to 3-14 young during the late summer or early fall.
Miscellaneous: When disturbed, copperheads will frequently vibrate their tail and release musk from glands at the base of their tail. If severely threatened, copperheads will usually bite to defend themselves. Fortunately, though their bite may be very painful, it is rarely fatal to humans.