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Free Picture: Venomous Broadbanded Copperhead Snake (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus)

Free Picture of Venomous Broadbanded Copperhead Snake (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus)

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Picture of a venomous “broad banded” copperhead snake, Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus, one of the most strikingly colorful copperhead subspecies. The broad banded copperhead is a southwestern subspecies that ranges throughout south-central Texas to the level of Victoria and Frio counties, northward through central Oklahoma up to the southern edge of Cowley County Kansas (Gloyd and Conant, 1990), placing it in hurricane-prone areas, which is of importance to those living in these regions, and first-responders offering aid to those affected by such a disaster. Unlike their northern cousins which are frequently found in association with rocks and talus slopes, the broad banded copperhead has a preference for areas with sandy soil that are covered with live oak trees and brush (Gloyd and Conant, 1990; Tenant, 1998). Within such regions, the underlying dead leaf litter provides nearly perfect camouflage for the snake’s sharply contrasting pattern and coloration.

The dorsal body of the broad banded copperhead is patterned with 10 to 17 broad dark brown to chestnut to reddish-orange crossbands, atop a light orange to tan background, which is wonderfully displayed in this specimen. The bands are typically six to eight scales wide at the dorsal apex, and eight to twelve scales wide at their lateral base (Gloyd and Connant, 1990). Unlike most of the other copperheads, the cross-bands of this subspecie extend onto the ventral scutes (Gloyd and Connant, 1990).

This image was created in 2005 and provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Edward J. Wozniak D.V.M., Ph.D.

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