Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster
Osage Copperhead

Franklin Co., Missouri. Spring 1973

My first venomous snake, and probably the most common venomous snake in Missouri.  I can only wonder at how many unseen copperheads I have passed by. They inhabit rocky hillsides (including cedar glades), deep woods, edges of fields, and suburban back yards.  In the hot summer months I have found them in creekbeds near water.  As more and more people sprawl out into the countryside, copperheads seem to adapt well to the intrusion, taking up residence in woodpiles and toolsheds.  Occasionally  they'll turn up indoors.  They are inoffensive snakes, preferring to lie still and rely on their camouflage coloration.  The snake at right is a good looking Kansas specimen.







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