Agkistrodon contortrix pictigasteragkistrodon contortrix pictigaster, agkistrodon pictigaster
Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster is a venomous pitviper subspecies2 found in the Trans-Pecos region of the United States, in western Texas, and northeastern Mexico
- 1 Description
- 2 Behavior
- 3 Venom
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
This subspecies is typically a light tan in color, with darker brown, wide crossbands Their actual color varies by locality, varying from a red-brown, to a gray-brown The species can be difficult to distinguish from the broad-banded copperhead, A c laticinctus The only notable physical difference between the subspecies is that the Trans-Pecos copperhead tends to have an elaboratedly patterned underside, often being an irregular, white and black pattern whereas the broad-banded tends to be plain white, only have minimal patterning, or have elongated random blotching instead of a distinct pattern The subspecies intergrade where their ranges overlap, further confusing identification It is easily distinguished from other subspecies of copperhead, in that other species typically have banding that narrows at the spine, creating hourglass shapes, whereas A c pictigaster has bands that do not narrow at the spine They grow to approximately 20-36 inches 50–90 cmin length As juveniles, all species of Agkistrodon have a bright green-yellow color to their tail tip believed to be used as a lure to attract prey items to approach within striking range The color fades to a grey or brown at about a year of age
Like all A contortrix subspecies, A c pictigaster is a nocturnal ambush predator Their diet consists of primarily lizards, frogs, and rodents Their choice of habitat is the driest among the copperhead subspecies, preferring rocky, lightly vegetated, canyon areas They are ovoviviparous, giving birth to a litter of up to 8 young in the early fall
Like most pit viper species, A contortrix has a hemotoxic venom, which is delivered through hinged, hollow fangs set in the front of their jaw The fangs work like hypodermic needles, injecting the venom in a single, quick striking motion Copperhead venom is not considered to be life-threatening to an otherwise healthy adult, but it can cause localized swelling, necrosis, and severe pain Any bite from a venomous snake should be considered serious and medical treatment sought There is no antivenin specifically manufactured for copperheads, but CroFab, which makes use of the venom from the cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorus, can be used in cases of a severe envenomation
- List of crotaline species and subspecies
- Crotalinae by common name
- Crotalinae by taxonomic synonyms
- ^ McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T 1999 Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1 Herpetologists' League 511 pp ISBN 1-893777-00-6 series ISBN 1-893777-01-4 volume
- ^ "Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster" Integrated Taxonomic Information System Retrieved 15 May 2007
- Agkistrodon contortrix at the Reptariumcz Reptile Database Accessed 7 December 2007
- Agkistrodon contortrix at University of Texas Accessed 7 December 2007
- Trans-Pecos Copperhead at WhoZoo Accessed 7 December 2007
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