Any of several unrelated species of snake named for their reddish head. The North American copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), also called the highland moccasin, is a pit viper of swampy, rocky, and wooded regions of the central and eastern U.S. It is usually less than 3 ft (1 m) long and is pinkish or reddish with a copper-coloured head and reddish brown, often hourglass-shaped crossbands on its back. Its venom is relatively weak, and a bite is rarely fatal to humans. The Australian copperhead is an elapid, and the Indian copperhead is a rat snake.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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