Copperhead Or Cottonmouth?

I got an education on the ID of this Juvenile Cottonmouth by several people. The color I think is what made me think that this was a Copperhead. Thanks to everyone that took the time to explain the difference between the two on Facebook and here on my blog.

I spotted this Cottonmouth crossing the road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Instead of slithering away it froze which allowed me to take a few photos.

Common names include variants on water moccasin, swamp moccasin or black moccasin; also cottonmouth, gapper, or simply viper. Many of the common names refer to the threat display, where this species will often stand its ground and gape at an intruder, exposing the white lining of its mouth.

Copperhead Or Cottonmouth? Photo

Copperhead Or Cottonmouth? Photo

Copperhead Or Cottonmouth? Photo

Copperhead Or Cottonmouth? Photo

This entry was posted in Reptiles, Amphibians and tagged , , .


  1. Cindy H June 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Wow. He’s a beauty. Hope he made it across the road ok. :)
    Your Wikipedia information was so interesting! Even though I’m slightly frightened when a snake surprises me, I find them fascinating.

  2. Andrew Shetley June 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Are you sure that’s a copperhead? The “leaf-shaped” head plate and white streaks on the cheeks look more like a cottonmouth. If so, it is unusually reddish and the markings are more clear than is often the case. Great pictures, though, and always a treat to see things like this in the wild.

  3. john June 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    That’s a juvenile Cotten Mouth, the raised head posturing is a dead giveaway, no pun intended.

  4. Sandy Berger June 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Yep. Cottonmouth.

  5. Steve Creek June 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Wow! I guess the color was throwing me off. Thanks for the correction.

  6. Fred O'Donnell June 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Great pictures, Steve!! Well done!!

  7. Nancy Castillo June 19, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Great photos but these things scare the crap out of me!