Agkistrodon contortrix — Eastern Copperhead
In 2014, Burbrink and Guiher split Agkistrodon laticinctus from Agkistrodon contortrix, and eliminated the other previously distinguished subspecies.
Copperheads live across a wide swath of the southern and southeastern USA, and are not particularly rare throughout their range, but I had somehow managed to avoid seeing any in a couple of decades of herping, including several visits to their homelands. This beautiful specimen had been resting under a log before it was rudely awakened for a photo session. We found a second individual a little while later.
I saw my third Copperhead the next day, hiding under the same hunk of old billboard as a big fat Timber Rattlesnake.
- Agkistrodon contortrix account on The Reptile Database
- Frank T. Burbrink and Timothy J. Guiher, 2014. Considering gene flow when using coalescent methods to delimit lineages of North American pitvipers of the genus Agkistrodon
- Campbell, J. A., Lamar, W. W. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Ernst, C. H., Ernst, E. M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada