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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

Check Out These Ssseriously Cool Lowland Copperhead Facts

Check out these awesome lowland copperhead facts.

Copperheads have managed to survive in some of Australia's coldest, wettest areas when most other snakes would perish. At least one species appears to have benefited from European settlement, with the change of woodland to open agricultural land providing a more ideal habitat for this moisture-loving snake. The lowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) is a poisonous snake of the Elapidae family. It is found throughout southeastern Australia, including Tasmania. It is known as the copperhead, however, it is not closely related to the American copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix. The common name is derived from the copper head coloring, which is not always present. It is frequently confused with other not closely related red-bellied black snakes. If provoked, the lowland copperhead is a deadly snake with neurotoxic venom that may kill an adult human if proper first aid is not administered quickly. They have been documented from southwest Tasmania, where they are usually found in drier areas of the state. Their distribution in the Australian mainland in the extreme south-eastern corner of South Australia and throughout much of southern Victoria.

If you're interested in snakes, check out anaconda snake facts and scarlet snake facts.

Lowland Copperhead Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lowland copperhead?

It is a dangerous snake that may eat small mammals and other smaller snakes. These snakes can be very dangerous and their venom can kill.

What class of animal does a lowland copperhead belong to?

It is a reptile, belonging to class Reptilia, found near water bodies. The American copperhead, which is a completely distinct species of snake, is not closely related to the lowland copperhead.

How many lowland copperheads are there in the world?

It is a widespread species and is most common in the southeastern area of mainland Australia. Its exact number is not known.

Where does a lowland copperhead live?

Its distribution and habitat may be found in grassland, heathland, woods, and open scrub. This dangerous snake can survive in highly disturbed habitats, including ones that have been cultivated for more than a century. Lowlands copperhead has been documented from southwest Tasmania, where they are usually found in drier areas of the state. In the extreme southeastern corner of South Australia and into much of southern Victoria. It is the continent's sole snake to be found above the snowline.

What is a lowland copperhead's habitat?

Australian lowland copperhead habitat includes wet environments such as streams or swamps. They may have distribution and habitat across southern Victoria, New South Wales, and coastal Taipan, with a predilection for areas near water, including ponds, dams, canals, drainage ditches, and roadsides. Lowland copperhead adaptations have evolved them to live in a frigid habitat. These snakes can be active at temperatures too cold for other snakes. You may also find lowland copperhead snakes in Georgia.

Who do lowland copperheads live with?

Austrelaps superbus is a very sociable creature that hibernates in the same cave as other snakes such as wood rattlesnakes and black rat snakes.

How long does a lowland copperhead live?

They live for around 18 years. In captivity, the lowland copperhead (austrelaps superbus) might live for up to 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

Lowland copperheads have been seen mating in the late summer. Females with big ovarian follicles can be found in early spring (about the end of September), while females with oviducal young can be detected from early spring to mid-summer (October to February). Females on King Island in the Bass Strait give birth by late February. Between January and March, 9-45 young are born, with bigger females giving birth to larger litters. In the mid to late summer, female lowland copperhead snakes can give birth to up to 30 live offspring.

What is their conservation status?

As the lowland copperhead is common and widespread, and there are no serious concerns, it is classified as of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Lowland Copperhead Fun Facts

What do lowland copperheads look like?

Lowland copperhead snake has a copper brown or gray texture.

This dangerous snake has brilliant eyes and a thin, somewhat pointed head that is barely distinguishable from the neck. On the upper surface, the color ranges from slate gray or black to coppery red-brown to deep brick-red. Lowland copperhead snake belly is generally yellow-white. The lower sides of the body of most adults feature a noticeable orange-red to brown stripe. This has caused some individuals to believe they had seen a red-bellied black snake, a species that does not exist in Tasmania. Young Austrelaps superbus are typically lighter, with a reddish-brown coat and an inconspicuous black stripe across the nape of the neck. Their ventral scales frequently have black borders. The copper head coloring that gave birth to the common name is not always present. The color of the body varies greatly, ranging from black to brown to a drab brick red.

How cute are they?

Baby copperheads are tiny and presumably adorable due to their many hues of red.

How do they communicate?

Although lowland copperheads can see, they rely on their sense of smell to find partners, catch prey, and escape predators. In addition, they have heat-sensitive pits on their faces that they utilize to attract prey. The holes on both sides of their faces enable them to hunt even in complete darkness.

How big is a lowland copperhead?

]owland copperheads are medium in size and are 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) in length.

How fast can a lowland copperhead move?

Snakes move by flexing their bodies. They have a long spine that connects the ribs. Muscles attached to these ribs support the snake in moving or crawling. Snakes are considerably more adept at hitting their prey than humans are at using any portion of our bodies. The exact speed at which they move is not known.

How much does a lowland copperhead weigh?

Lowland copperheads weigh around 0.2-0.7 lb (90.7-317.5 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this snake species do not have sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby lowland copperhead?

A baby lowland copperhead has no specific name, although it can be referred to as a snakelet.

What do they eat?

Lowland copperheads prefer low-vegetation regions near water bodies for hunting. Lowland copperhead diet primarily includes ectothermic food in the wild, including insects, frogs, lizards (and lizard eggs), as well as other smaller snakes like the tiger snake. It is a dangerous snake that bites and can kill an adult human when provoked. Lowland copperhead snakes will also capture warm-blooded prey like birds and mammals. Skinks are by far the most often eaten prey. Copperheads, in general, are said to be cannibalistic.

Are they poisonous?

Australian lowland copperhead's (Austrelaps superbus) venom includes postsynaptic neurotoxins. This dangerous snake is responsible for a dozen documented bites, one of which was deadly. If provoked, the lowland copperhead snake may bite. It is a  potentially poisonous snake with neurotoxic venom that affects the nervous system and has the potential to kill an adult human if proper first aid is not administered. Because a copperhead's teeth are rather small, wearing thick socks, sturdy shoes, or gumboots will give some protection.

Would they make a good pet?

The American copperhead is a snake whose bite contains lethal venom, but it may make a wonderful pet if you have prior experience with snakes in captivity.

Did you know...

Copperheads are generally ground dwellers, but they will occasionally ascend, for example, to bask. They are primarily active during the day, but they may be active at night if it is warm enough.

The copperhead's major predators are hawks and owls, however, raccoons, opossums, and other bigger snakes may also hunt on copperheads.

When terrified, lowland copperheads flatten themselves down to seem bigger and more dangerous, generally while fleeing.

How do you identify a lowland copperhead?

In terms of overall shape and coloration, all copperhead species are pretty similar. They have a relatively strong and muscular physique. Lowland and highland copperhead scales are semi-glossy and typically blackish to gray-brown in color, with a brownish or orange tinge in certain individuals. The lowermost rows of lateral scales are larger and generally a lighter color, especially on the neck and forebody. In some snakes, there are no marks other than an indistinct neckband and a dark vertebral line. The color of the belly ranges from cream to gray. The head is narrow and scarcely distinguishable from the neck. The eyes are relatively big, light in color, with a reddish-brown rim, and a circular pupil. The common name copperhead refers to the coppery-brown color of their heads.

Are lowland copperheads endangered?

The copperhead is one of only two snake species (the other being the timber rattlesnake) that face purposeful persecution; they are often culled due to a deep-seated social fear. Habitat degradation, such as draining swamps and marshes, overgrazing, and any other activity that has an influence on frog populations, might endanger the local populations of this harmless species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these black mamba facts and king cobra facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable long tail boa coloring pages.

Second image by Ed Dunens.

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