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 Post subject: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2012, 12:39 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:30 am
Posts: 355
Location: U.K.
I wonder if someone could clear something up for me.

One of my first reptile books was "Living Snakes of the World" by Mehrtens. It is well thumbed and a bit dog-eared now. On page 353 is a photo of a stunning snake labelled as the Trans-Pecos Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster. The colours on the pictured snake appear to be black (or dark grey) with pale crossbands. Is this an unusually coloured pictigaster or do they often turn up as dark as this? Maybe it is just an odd colour tint in the picture.

I have done a quick search on previous posts but those shown as
A.C.pictigaster seem to be a more normal copper colour.

Anyone have photos of such a dark snake? Thanks, Rags.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2012, 1:44 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2011, 7:31 am
Posts: 129
the copperhead you are speaking of is a neonate...i have the book as well...copperheads go through an ontogenic color change as with many other species of snakes. i can post some pics to better show what i am talking about if you so wish.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2012, 4:56 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 1670
Location: Unicoi, TN
There is some variation in the adults.
Some can be dark and some can be almost like tri-colored kings!
Here’s some bad pics taken in 2006 with a primitive digital camera.

I'm sure you'll get better ones than these:


Image


Image


PS
Check these DB entries out.
http://www.naherp.com/search.php?r_owner=&r_group=6&r_genus=47&r_species=51&r_subspecies=56&r_country=&r_state=&r_county=


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2012, 5:38 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 2727
Location: San Antonio, TX
Here's a fairly typical pictigaster from the eastern part of their range.
They get paler as you get further west in my experience.

Image

Juveniles are quite dark sometimes.
Some pics are quite striking snakes, others are rather unattractive for copperheads.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 1:15 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:30 am
Posts: 355
Location: U.K.
Thanks for your replies.

I have just been through the photos on the 'naherp database' which show some variation. All of them beautiful snakes.

I guess the one pictured in Mehrtens is a neonate from the east of it's range. My eye is just drawn to the photo every time I flick through the book.

Please feel free to post any photos of particularly dark specimens.

Thanks again for the replies. Rags.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 9:58 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:12 pm
Posts: 102
There is a completely melanistic copperhead pictured in "Snakes of the Agkistrodon Complex." I don't have the book on me, but I believe the animal was from North Carolina.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 3:35 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2011, 7:31 am
Posts: 129
A couple of neonate trans pecos that look like the one in the book you are referring to. These are not my pictures, they are from google.

Image
Image

These 2 pictures are mine. Osage copperheads, Nebraska specimens. This subspecies also goes through a color change.

Neonate.
Image
Adult.
Image

A few other fun finds from google. Again, not my photos.
Spotted Northerns.
Image
Image
The infamous patternless Osage from Kansas.
Image
Striped Southerns.
Image
Image
Image
Partially striped Southerns.
Image
Image
Image
Thats about all I could find for aberrant copperheads. Kinda off the post topic but fun nonetheless.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 5th, 2012, 8:00 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:30 am
Posts: 355
Location: U.K.
Thanks for posting that assortment "neherper". Some really good looking serpents but the first couple are the colour I was talking about. That dark grey and black shading is just such an unusual combination to see on a Copperhead. I would give any appendage (almost any) to find one of those beauties someday.

Rags.


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 Post subject: Re: Copperhead question...
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 7:05 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2011, 7:31 am
Posts: 129
I have plans to photograph all of the geographic color/pattern variations of the copperhead (I don't personally believe in subspecies of these snakes). As I have never been to Texas, my plans for finding a Trans Pecos are spending a few warm summer nights road cruising in a couple of counties that there have been the most records from. I don't really like asking people to take me out unless we know each other so I prefer to do on my own. Best of luck to you in your searches.


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