Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Subfamily Crotalinae
Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen
Agkistrodon c. contortrix X mokasen
Photo of Northern Copperhead courtesy of Linh Phu
4 - 36 inches. Record - 53 inches.
Photo of camouflaged Northern Copperhead
courtesy of William Harbold
This is a snake of forests, old fields, swamps, dry sandy ridges adjacent to swamps, and agricultural fields adjacent to forests.
How to Find
A relatively uncommon species on the coastal plain, but fairly common in forested rock outcrops of central and western Maryland. Their cryptic coloration makes them very hard to discern, even when you are looking right at them. Warning: this species is venomous! Do not attempt to capture. They will readily bite if provoked, and bites are extremely painful. Seek medical attention immediately if bitten.
Photo of Habitat for Northern Copperhead
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Distribution in Maryland
The northern copperhead is found statewide while the intergrade is found on the lower Eastern Shore.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.
The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.