The Southern Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix, can be distinguished by the distinct hourglass configuration of its dark cross-bands and can be found in the lower Mississippi Valley and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.
These snakes like to avoid humans and, given the changes, will leave the area without biting. However, they will often “freeze” instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them. Many times they can go almost unnoticed when lying on dead leaves, typically they will stay still even when approached closely, and will generally strike only if physical contact is made.
The copperhead is nocturnal during the hot summer months and is very active during the day in the spring and fall months. Majority of their diet is made up of small rodents and large insects and frogs.
Although venomous, their bites are rarely fatal. Bite symptoms include extreme pain, throbbing, tingling sensation and severe nausea. Immediate medical attention should be sought, as allergic reaction and secondary infection are always possible.