Osage Copperhead Snake
Facts about Osage Copperhead snakes. "Scientific name for Osage Copperhead snake is Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster". Osage Copperhead snake is a subspecies of a venomous pit viper, which predominantly can be found in most regions of North America. The Osage Copperhead snake can be found in the United States in Eastern Kansas, Missouri (large part), and southeast Nebraska. On the general, the entire Agkistrodon contortrix specie has a distinctive behaviour that has accidentally resulted into their multiple encounters with humans.
Description of Osage Copperhead snake
The Osage Copperhead snake has copper-red color covering the top of its head, and that is where the name copperhead comes from. As for the rest of the body of Osage Copperhead snake, the color can range from light-tan to reddish-tan, with either reddish-brown or dark-brown bands running all across their body. Generally, the bands have an hourglass shape—wider at the sides, and thinner as they approach the spine. There are rare occasions under which the bands may be outlined in white.
Although their younger ones generally retain the same color pattern, the Osage Copperhead snake somewhat tend to be more greyish in color, with a greenish-yellow tail tip. Apparently, the greenish-yellow tail tip is majorly used to lure caterpillars and worms, which in turn attract lizards and frogs for the young snakes to feed on.
Also noted are the Osage Copperhead snake elliptical pupils that somehow resemble a cat’s eye. Then, in between each eye and nostril, there is a heat-sensing pit that can easily be noted on all Osage Copperhead snakes.
In general, Osage Copperhead snakes are large, and have a big head that, when viewed from up, is actually wider than their neck.
Feeding of Osage Copperhead snake
Osage Copperhead snake mainly feeds on small rodents, including voles and mice. But sometimes, they feed on large insects, lizards, frogs, ground birds, and even other smaller snakes. Although the snakes are majorly terrestrial, the Osage Copperhead snake sometimes climb tree when hunting for food or gorging on emerging cicadas.
Breeding of Osage Copperhead snake
The Osage Copperhead snakes give birth to live young ones, whose number may range anywhere from 3 to 10 for each birth. But since the newborns normally have fully developed venom and senses, they are usually left to survive on their own.
Like all A. contortrix species, Osage Copperhead snakes breed during the late summers—but not each year. That’s to say a female Osage Copperhead snake may reproduce consecutively for a number of years, after which she may take a break for a prolonged duration of time before resuming.
During the breeding season, Osage Copperhead snakes males have been observed to have longer tongue-tine lengths when compared to their female counterparts. something that researchers have in the recent past associated with the chemoreception of the males trying to attract the females.
Defense mechanism of the Osage Copperhead snake
Osage Copperhead snakes are famously known for being non-aggressive, although a good number of snake bites in North America have actually been linked with it (probably due to abundance). In most cases, however, the bites have been as a result of humans’ attempts to capture, handle or even kill the snake.
Symptoms of bites of Osage Copperhead snake
The symptoms of Osage Copperhead snakes bites include severe nausea, tingling, intense pain, throbbing, as well as swelling at the bitten spot. Even though the venom is rarely fatal, it has been known to cause muscle damage if not treated right on time.