Copperhead Population By State

Written by Heather Ross
Updated: September 26, 2023
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Key Points:
  • Copperheads are one of the most common venomous snakes in the United States.
  • The northern copperhead is the most prevalent and can be found in the Florida panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, as far north as Massachusetts, and as far west as Illinois.
  • Copperheads mostly inflict dry bites on humans to scare them away, and there are few human fatalities from copperhead bites.

Where do you find copperhead snakes in the United States? Although they’re common snakes, they don’t live everywhere. Here’s a comprehensive list of the copperhead population by state.

This map reveals the population of copperhead snakes by state.

Get to Know Copperhead Snakes

Copperhead snakes get their name from their copper-colored heads and chestnut-brown bodies. They are beautiful snakes, but they are feared and misunderstood.

Belonging to the pit viper family, a copperhead snake has a heat-sensing pit organ that allows it to sense body heat in its prospective prey and strike with accuracy. Its head is diamond shaped and its body is thick, covered in ridged scales with patches that look like the shape of an hourglass.

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A copperhead can reach 2 to 3 feet in length. Copperheads are some of the most common venomous snakes in the United States, along with rattlesnakes and coral snakes. The coral snake is related to the king cobra, which is one of the most feared snakes in the world.

Copperheads do not give any warning before they bite. However, most bites on humans are dry bites that don’t have venom, and most attacks occur on humans who disturb the snakes. There are very few reported fatalities from copperhead snake bites. Like most snakes, they are shy and prefer to avoid human interaction.

The Copperhead’s scales are keeled, and their eyes have vertical pupils that make them resemble cat’s eyes.

The copperhead’s scales are keeled, and their eyes have vertical pupils that make them resemble a cat’s eyes.

©Creeping Things/

Where Do Copperheads Live?

They live all over the United States. Of the snake’s five subspecies, the northern copperhead has the greatest range. It is found in the Florida panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, as far north as Massachusetts, and as far west as Illinois.

Copperheads have adapted to many different environments, and you can find them in wetland areas, forests, and rocky hills. They can swim, and they are excellent hunters who use an ambush attack and venom to subdue their prey.

Lifespan: How Long Do Copperheads Live?

Copperhead snakes tend to grow at a slow pace. Copperheads tend to reach sexual maturity when they are about 2 feet long or four years old. In the wild, their lifespans can peak at about 18 years old. In fact, compared to some other species of snakes, the copperhead has a fairly long lifespan. While aging in the wild is always different than in captivity, copperhead snakes can live up to 25 years if cared for properly.

What Do Copperheads Eat?

What Do Copperheads Eat
Copperhead snakes are excellent rodent hunters.

Copperheads eat warm and cold-blooded prey. They are an essential part of rodent control, feasting on pests like mice and rats.

They also eat fish, lizards, baby alligators, and other rodents.

What Is the Population of Copperheads in the United States?

As we explained in our article on snake populations, exact population numbers are almost impossible to estimate for copperheads or other snake species. While they are currently listed as Least Concern for conservation status, wildlife biologists note that all snake species have suffered global population declines. For this list, we’ve gathered information about the type of copperhead native to each U.S. state.

Alabama: 3

  • Eastern copperhead
  • Northern copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

The eastern copperhead is the most commonly seen venomous snake in the state.

Alaska: 0

Alaska has no snakes.

Arizona: 0

Arizona does not have copperhead snakes. That’s probably not surprising because copperheads are primarily aquatic, and Arizona is very dry. Arizona doesn’t lack when it comes to other snakes, however. It has a high number of rattlesnakes and other species.

Arkansas: 3

The state is home to the broad-banded copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus). This snake is most often seen in damp, shaded rock crevices, abandoned barns, and rocky woodland areas. Arkansas also has southern copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix) and Osage copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster). These snakes are sometimes locally known as “moccasins.”

California: 0

Although it’s a state with a healthy, diverse snake population, California does not have copperheads. All of its venomous snakes are rattlesnakes.

Colorado: 0

Like California, Colorado only has rattlesnakes in its venomous snake lineup.

Connecticut: 1

The state is home to the northern copperhead. It is one of only two venomous species in the state. The other is the timber rattlesnake.

Delaware: 1

The northern copperhead is the state’s only copperhead species.

Will Cicadas Cause More Snakes

Copperheads are excellent hunters who use an ambush attack and venom to subdue their prey.

©Suzanna Ruby/

Florida: 1

The southern copperhead is a Florida native. Although Florida has dozens of snake species, only a few of them are venomous.

Georgia: 2

  • Northern copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

Hawaii: 0

Hawaii has no venomous snakes that live on its land. Venomous sea snakes live in the ocean waters near Hawaii, and they may sometimes wash up on the beaches.

Idaho: 0

Idaho’s venomous snake species are all rattlesnakes.

Illinois: 2

  • Northern copperhead
  • Osage copperhead

The state’s copperheads mostly live in wetlands, swamps, and forests.

Indiana: 1

The northern copperhead is native to Indiana.

Iowa: 2

Iowa is home to:

  • Northern copperhead
  • Osage copperhead.

Copperheads are protected under Iowa law. It is illegal to kill rattlesnakes or copperheads in Iowa.

Kansas: 2

  • Osage copperhead
  • Broad-banded copperhead

Copperheads are the most commonly seen venomous snakes in the state. They typically stay far away from human activity and prefer to inhabit woodlands and rocky areas.

Kentucky: 2

  • Northern copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

Louisiana: 1

Louisiana is famous for its reptiles, and that means it has a large, healthy mix of snakes. Its waters are home to the southern copperhead, easter coral snake, Texas coral snake, and several rattlers.

Maine: 0

There are no venomous snakes in Maine. The timber rattlesnake once lived in the state, but it is now extirpated, which means it is locally extinct.

Maryland: 1

The northern copperhead is one of only two venomous snakes in the state.

Massachusetts: 1

The northern copperhead is one of the state’s two venomous species. The other is the timber rattlesnake. Both snakes are listed as endangered under state law.

Michigan: 0

Michigan has no copperhead snakes. Its only venomous snake is the eastern massasauga rattlesnake.

Minnesota: 0

There are no copperheads in Minnesota.

Mississippi: 2

  • Northern copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

Missouri: 3

  • Osage copperhead
  • Northern copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

Montana: 0

Montana has no copperheads.

Nebraska: 2

Nebraska is home to:

  • Eastern copperhead
  • Osage copperhead

Nevada: 1

Nevada is home to the southern copperhead.

New Hampshire: 0

New Hampshire has no copperheads. Its only venomous snake is the timber rattlesnake, and biologists say there are only a few of them left. They prefer to live in the densely wooded areas in the southern part of the state.

New Jersey: 1

  • Northern copperhead

The copperhead is listed as a species of special concern in New Jersey.

New Mexico: 0

New Mexico has a huge diversity of snakes, and it is home to 10 venomous species. Of these, nine are rattlesnakes, and the other is the Sonoran coral snake. It has no copperheads.

New York: 1

  • Northern copperhead

Copperheads mostly live in the riverbank areas around the Hudson River. They rarely come into human areas.

North Carolina: 2

Copperheads are abundant in the state, and there are many reported sightings.

  • Southern copperhead
  • Northern copperhead

North Dakota: 0

The state does not have any members of this species.

Ohio: 1

  • Northern copperhead

Oklahoma: 4

  • Eastern copperhead
  • Osage copperhead
  • Broad-banded copperhead
  • Southern copperhead

Oregon: 0

Oregon has no copperheads.

Pennsylvania: 1

The northern copperhead lives in the lower part of the state. It prefers wooded areas, rock piles, and abandoned farm buildings.

Rhode Island: 0

There are no venomous snakes in Rhode Island.

South Carolina: 2

  • Southern copperhead
  • Northern copperhead

South Dakota: 0

There are no copperheads in the state.

Tennessee: 2

  • Southern copperhead
  • Northern copperhead

Texas: 3

Texas has a huge number of snake species, and 15 are venomous. Although most of these are rattlers, the state is also home to three copperhead species:

  • Broad-banded copperhead
  • Southern copperhead
  • Trans-Pecos copperhead.

Utah: 0

Although Utah has many snakes, none are copperheads.

Vermont: 0

The state’s only venomous snake, the timber rattler, is considered endangered. Wildlife officials ask people to report sightings of this rare snake.

Virginia: 1

The state is home to the northern copperhead. The snake is abundant in Virginia, but it prefers the wetlands areas in the southern part of the state.

Washington: 0

Washington has no copperheads.

West Virginia: 1

The northern copperhead is one of only two venomous species in the state. The other, the timber rattlesnake, is West Virginia’s official state reptile.

Wisconsin: 0

There are no copperheads in Wisconsin.

Wyoming: 0

The state has two venomous snake species, but it has no copperheads.

Summary of Copperhead Population By State

Here’s a table to see at a glance which states copperheads can be found in and what type is present.

NumberStateNumber of Copperhead SpeciesType of Copperheads
1Alabama3Eastern copperhead, Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
4Arkansas3Broad-banded copperhead, Osage copperhead, Southern copperhead
7Connecticut1Northern copperhead
8Delaware1Northern copperhead
9Florida1Southern copperhead
10Georgia2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
13Illinois2Northern copperhead, Osage copperhead
14Indiana1Northern copperhead
15Iowa2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
16Kansas2Broad-banded copperhead, Osage copperhead
17Kentucky2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
18Louisiana1Southern copperhead
20Maryland1Northern copperhead
21Massachusetts1Northern copperhead
24Mississippi2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
25Missouri3Northern copperhead, Osage copperhead, Southern copperhead
27Nebraska2Eastern copperhead, Osage copperhead
28Nevada1Southern copperhead
29New Hampshire0
30New Jersey1Northern copperhead
31New Mexico0
32New York1Northern copperhead
33North Carolina2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
34North Dakota0
35Ohio1Northern copperhead
36Oklahoma4Broad-banded copperhead, Eastern copperhead, Osage copperhead, Southern copperhead
38Pennsylvania1Northern copperhead
39Rhode Island0
40South Carolina2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
41South Dakota0
42Tennessee2Northern copperhead, Southern copperhead
43Texas3Broad-banded copperhead, Southern copperhead, Trans-Pecos copperhead
46Virginia1Northern copperhead
48West Virginia1Northern copperhead

Which U.S. State Has the Most Snakes?

Texas is the U.S. state with the most number of snake species, including the Texas coral snake.

©Scott Delony/

Now we’ve seen which states copperhead snakes are present in and found that Oklahoma has the highest number of copperhead species, you might be wondering if Oklahoma also has the most snakes in total.

However, Texas is the U.S. state with the most snakes. It is home to 68 snake species. Most of them are nonvenomous, with some of the more common ones being the Texas garter snake, western hognose snake, milk snake, and bull snake.

In addition to copperheads, venomous snakes found in Texas include more than nine types of rattlesnakes, the western cottonmouth, and the Texas coral snake — which is the most venomous species in the state.

Two states tie for the second-highest number of snake species. Arizona and Nevada each contain 52 species of snakes.

Arizona has 14 venomous species and more types of rattlesnakes than any other U.S. state.

While most of the snakes in Nevada are nonvenomous, among the venomous species present include rattlesnakes such as the western diamondback rattlesnake.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Heather Ross is a secondary English teacher and mother of 2 humans, 2 tuxedo cats, and a golden doodle. In between taking the kids to soccer practice and grading papers, she enjoys reading and writing about all the animals!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why don’t we have estimates of snake populations?

There are several reasons for this. The first is that biologists have not closely tracked snake populations until recently. While many states have reported declines in specific species, there was no overall system to track the number of snakes in each state. This is true of most reptile species, who are considered “data deficient” in population studies.

The second reason is that snakes are extremely hard to find. They are nocturnal, secretive, and excellent at using camouflage. They are much harder to observe than other species, and attaching monitors to them is difficult.

Scientists are aware that snake populations are declining, however, and that is cause for concern. Snakes are integral to their ecosystems, and they are a primary means of controlling rodent populations. Developing ways to count their populations in the U.S. and elsewhere is critical to helping preserve these beautiful and often misunderstood animals.

What is the most common snake in the U.S.?

It is probably the garter snake or grass snake. The most common venomous snakes are rattlesnakes and copperheads.

Does the king cobra live in the U.S.?

No, it does not. The king cobra is native to southeast Asia.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.