Copperheads in Louisiana: Where They Live and How Often They Bite

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: May 11, 2022
Image Credit Scott Delony/Shutterstock.com
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Think You Know Snakes?
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 cat’s eyes.

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Copperhead snakes are among the most common in North America. Although they have mild venom, their bites are rarely fatal to people. Because of their copper-red heads, these snakes are known as copperheads.

North American copperheads are most found in Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, and Georgia. The eastern copperhead is one of Louisiana’s most common and easily identified venomous snakes.

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Copperhead Brumation Period In Louisiana

The body of the Copperhead ranges from 2 to usually less than 4 feet, but it is robust.
Copperheads undergo brumation in the winter.

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Snakes and other reptiles go into hibernation during the winter. Well, snakes do not technically hibernate. While brumation is comparable to hibernation, it is not the same. Depending on the weather, snake brumation can start anytime between September and December and remain until March or April. Snakes may also emerge from brumation if the weather changes, warming their blood and causing them to become more active.

Most Active Periods for Copperheads in Louisiana

Close-up of venomous Copperhead Snake. Its head, whose color gives the snake its common name, is broad and wedge-shaped.
Copperheads are most active in the summer.

iStock.com/Mark Kostich

Peak Seasons

Copperheads love to eat frogs and rodents and are most active in the summer, especially late at night and early in the morning. They aren’t aggressive, but they’re dangerous since they’re often motionless and well-hidden. They rely on their bodies’ ability to blend in with their environment to find prey and elude predators between early spring and late fall.

Time of the Day

Southern copperheads are diurnal, which means they are active during the day from early spring to late fall when they rely on their bodies’ ability to blend in with their environment to find prey and avoid predators.

Most Active Areas for Copperheads in Louisiana

Counties

The eastern copperhead is one of Louisiana’s most common and easily identified venomous snakes. Except for the coast and plains of southwest Louisiana, this species can be found across the state. Except for four counties in Louisiana, it is found in every county. Copperheads are one of four species that can be found along the Mississippi River or in city parks like City Park.

Cities

New Orleans is distinct from other cities in that it is surrounded by water and wetlands. Most visitors are unaware that these landscapes are surrounded by metropolitan areas. The city’s main attractions are the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is also close to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Copperheads can be found in New Orleans.

Environments

Copperheads are mostly found in rural areas in Louisiana, but they can even be found in urban areas. They are frequently discovered in potted plants or under leaf heaps. Brown snakes are likely to be found under or near mounds of plants. Copperhead snakes usually hibernate in rock-based dens. They also frequently make their homes inside logs and holes cut out by mammals. Stones, sawdust heaps, stumps, and caverns are also common den sites for these snakes. You might be looking at a copperhead winter den if you see any of these things.

What Do Copperheads Look Like?

Will Cicadas Cause More Snakes
Copperheads have deep brown hourglass-shaped crossbands on their bottom side.

Suzanna Ruby/Shutterstock.com

The Copperhead is another venomous snake found in Louisiana. It’s commonly beige, tan, or light gray in color. The snake has a dull pink or orange tinge on top, with broad, deeper brown hourglass-shaped cross-bands on the bottom sides that are significantly paler.

A fully grown, mature copperhead measures between 24 and 36 inches in length. Copperheads are about 7-10 inches long when young. Copperheads are sexually dimorphic in size, with females growing longer than males but males having longer tails.

Are Copperheads Venomous?

Weakest animals copperhead snake
Copperheads are venomous.

Copperheads are venomous! They have hemotoxic venom, which implies that a bite from a copperhead can cause temporary tissue damage in the bite region. Although their bite can be unpleasant, humans are rarely killed by them. Call 911 right away if you’ve been bitten by a deadly snake. Anti-venom should be injected into your system as soon as possible. Every year, 7,000 to 8,000 persons in the United States are bitten by venomous snakes. Children and people with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to venom and treatment consequences.

In Conclusion

What Does a Copperhead Snake Look Like
Snake hunting should be left for the pros.

Jeff W. Jarrett/Shutterstock.com

Some visitors enjoy looking for snakes in Louisiana’s wetlands, but snake hunting should be left to the pros. Copperheads are one of around 47 snake species found in Louisiana. When temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, copperheads and other snakes are most active. This implies they’ll be most active throughout the spring and summer, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons. As predators and prey for other animals, snakes play a vital role in ecology. If snakes aren’t your thing, keep in mind that most snakes aren’t aggressive unless they’re protecting themselves. It is a great idea to learn about your environment and remember to always be safe and fully aware of your surroundings.

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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