People who are going to go to Europe, to any resort in the Mediterranean Sea in the spring or summer period, will surely have a copperhead. Is this beautiful snake poisonous or not? This question should interest travelers in the first place. And the answer to it will be ambiguous. The fact is that the Copperhead belongs to the family of the Horobites, therefore, it squeezes its prey, then swallows. But why then her teeth?
It would seem that if the snake in question has teeth, then the question of whether it is poisonous or not, does not occur by itself. There are fangs, which means she can bite. However, this statement will not be true to the end. Reptile's teeth are located deep in the mouth, it uses them only in the case when the hunt ends with catching a large victim. Due to its small size, it will not be able to strangle the caught animal on its own. Then she will have to paralyze him with her poison, and only after that she will be able to calmly eat him.
In all other cases, the fishworm feeds on lizards. They constitute the main ration of its food, since they are rather small animals, on which it does not have to waste its poison. Sometimes, when the snake in question fails to catch the lizards, it begins its hunt for small rodents. It should be noted that these reptiles can sometimes eat each other. But this rarely happens. This can happen when the coop cannot find another victim. In any case, the cannibalism of this snake makes you seriously think about whether it is actually safe for people.
However, the question of whether the honeydew is poisonous or not for a person remains open. The fact is that in the world there are many animals and insects, the poison of which is safe for humans. It can cause inconvenience of various kinds, but it will not kill. But there are people who have a serious allergic reaction to certain poisons. For example, one person will be able to survive a viper bite, but will die if it is stung by a normal bee. That is, the answer to the question of whether the honeydew is poisonous or not lies in the individual characteristics of the human body. Some will not even notice how this snake will sting them, while others will survive several weeks of severe fever, and still others may even die. In any case, it is not necessary to check whether the snake is poisonous or not. After all, no one knows until the end how her bite will turn.
Medyanka can be easily recognized by its appearance. It has a copper tint, which is why it got its name. It should be noted that its characteristic feature is a black stripe at eye level, it is she who distinguishes it from similar snakes. But will you gaze at the eyes of a small creeping representative of a scaly squad when you meet him? It may also be the case that before you a more dangerous reptile, the bite of which carries serious consequences.
Thus, the answer to the question of whether the cooper is poisonous is in most cases negative. However, it is worth to insure and avoid this snake, since it is you who can be a person with a pronounced allergic reaction to its bite.
Snake surrounded by more than a dozen superstitions
It has long been commonplace in Russia one belief: if a man was bitten by a snake with a copper tint, then he will surely die by the sunset. The only way out was to cut off the bitten limb or cut out a part of the flesh near the wound. And people really believed in it.
Also, in some regions, it was believed that coppers are messengers of evil sorcerers. Having entered the courtyard, they sent a curse on the owners of the house and their cattle. And if you try to drive them away, they will bite a person, after which he will become ill or die.
It is not surprising that after this many people are interested in true information about this snake. Especially about how dangerous is a man for a coop: poisonous or not? And if so, how to escape from her bite? But let's get everything in order.
Habitats of coppers
This reptile can be found in almost all corners of the globe. But at the same time, only some types of coppers are known to science. In particular, only three of them are well studied, they live in Europe, South Asia and northwestern Africa. Although recently it was reported that scientists discovered several more representatives of this species, but unfortunately, nothing is known about them yet.
If we talk about the Russian Federation, then on its territory the common parasite lives. You can meet her in almost all regions, starting with the European part and ending with Western Siberia. This is the most common type of data snakes, and therefore we consider it more closely.
What does a copperhead look like?
The first thing that catches your eye is her color, for it was not for nothing that she was called Copperhead. The description of its shades can be begun with light gray and finished with dark brown colors. A distinctive feature is that the scales near the head of the snake and on its belly gleam with copper tints. However, only males can have a reddish skin color, while females have a darker color.
Although most often they have a monotonous color, it happens that pigment lines of black or brown spots pass through the whole body of a snake. Often there are four such longitudinal lines in the snake, although there are exceptions. Also the dark part of the cooper is covered with dark spots. Small snakes have a brighter color, so they are much easier to notice and classify.
Medyanka ordinary rarely grows longer than 70 cm. But at the same time it has a very developed musculature, which compensates for its small size. Another distinctive feature of the mediola is that its head has almost completely grown together with the body. Therefore, it is impossible to see a clear separation between them, unlike snakes or vipers.
Also, the eyes of the copperhead are sometimes red. This gives them a mystical aura, and apparently because of this, they attributed a connection with the sorcerers.
Habitat and appearance
Representatives of these reptiles belong to the species of non-venomous snakes, the genus of coppers (the family of primitives). In the genus of coppers are three types.
- in north west africa
- south india
- in Europe.
From other snakes, living in Europe, the cooper is distinguished by round pupils with a dark stripe running through the entire eye. Sometimes the eyes of coppers are red. The name of the snake was due to its color.
Medyanki living in Russian forests are of the common type. Their teeth are poisonous, but the mouth is so small that they cannot bite a person, and even in the case of a bite there is no deadly danger for a person.
Photo and description of the snake
What does the snake look like? Copperface color depends on the habitat - it varies from light gray to almost black. The snake's belly is coppery, the back can be from gray or yellowish brown to brownish copper red. Medyanki with a predominantly gray color are found mainly in the southern regions. When the snake sheds, its color becomes darker than usual - the gray color can change to dark brown and even black.
A pronounced copper color - in males, females are usually gray. In young snakes the color is always brighter, it turns pale with age, so it is very easy to identify a young snake.
Usually the color of coppers is monotonous. But there are also specimens with a patterned pattern - with longitudinal lines all over the body. In this case, the upper part of the body is decorated on the sides with 2-4 rows of oval vertical spots - from light brown to black. Sometimes they are weakly expressed (almost imperceptible), but snakes are clearly visible on the neck, sometimes they are bright all over the body, merging into stripes, and on the back of the head there are two dark spots merging with each other. On the back there can be an ornament that makes up diamond-shaped or hexagonal spots, which makes the cooper look like a miniature viper.
In nature, vermins reach a maximum length of only 70 cm, but small sizes are compensated for by the developed muscles. A distinctive feature of this snake is its head, which almost completely merged with the body.
Habitats and habits
Copperbugs are usually found in deciduous forests, but are sometimes found in pine forests and spruce forests. The snake prefers deciduous forests for the fact that it is easier for them to get food there - the prey is hidden in abundant foliage in abundance. It is extremely rare to see a creeper in a meadow or in a steppe - open space allows natural snake enemies to make it their prey. However, the nests of coppersmouth are arranged near open places - near glades, near small glades.
Like many reptiles, coopers love to bask in the sun. They are active in the daytime, rarely go hunting at night. In the dark, cool time of day, these snakes are hiding in their shelters.
Snake Copperhead ordinary by nature - a loner. Sometimes she can even pounce on her relative - if her neighbor is undesirable. The enemy is waiting for a violent attack (bites), sometimes comes to cannibalism. Therefore, it is almost impossible to meet two individuals in one small area. These snakes communicate exclusively during the mating season, and after mating they crawl in different directions and no longer occur.
Medyanki are very attached to their nests, can live in one "house" throughout life. A snake that attacks on its dwelling immediately attacks, therefore it is not recommended to look into its hole or to stick a stick there.
Medyanki know how to swim perfectly, but reluctantly do. The snake descends into the water only in case of emergency and never chooses wet places to live.
In humans, in the hands of wild individuals behave very aggressively, can bite to the blood. It is precisely from such behavior of these reptiles that the question arose - is it a snake like a snake poisonous or not for humans, and how dangerous can this creature be? In reality, the snake behaves in a similar way from fright, and when kept in captivity after a while it gets used to its terrarium, becomes loyal to its owner, and can take food from human hands.
What do Copperheads Eat
Under natural conditions, the main food of these snakes are the lizards of the Veretenitse family - they are brisk, they have no legs, and the body is serpentine, the diet of the medyana consists of almost 60% of them. About 5% of the diet are representatives of small vertebrates.
Medyanka can eat:
- a frog
- nestlings of small birds (tits, sparrow, etc.).
- They eat the coppers and insects.
Occasionally these snakes have cannibalism.
Copperheads are rather slow - if a potential prey has spotted a snake, then it can easily hide. Therefore, the Copperhead hunts, hiding in the fallen leaves, high grass, waiting for the victim to come closer. After the “food” is in the immediate vicinity, the snake rushes at it and, thanks to its developed muscles, easily holds it, wrapping it around its body. The grip is so powerful that a caught lizard or mouse cannot even move. As soon as the prey is caught, the reptile starts to eat it slowly.
Copperheads are active for about half a year - from March to August. During this period, they leave the offspring, and they spend the winter already in September-October. The mating season of these snakes is spring. But mating happens in the autumn months - then the seminal receptacles of the female store spermatozoa until hibernation, and the young themselves still appear only in summer.
In the process of mating, the male keeps the female by the neck with his jaws and twists around her torso. At the end of fertilization, the snakes leave each other. In the brood of one female there are up to 15 eggs.
Serpents are born in egg shells - ready-made viable individuals, as the Cooper carries eggs until the embryo's development process is completed. They immediately break through the shell and immediately begin an independent life. The length of the body of a snake that has just appeared is as much as 12-17 cm. Toddlers mostly feed on insects, less often on very small lizards.
Sexual maturity in coppers occurs in the 3rd year of life.
Under natural conditions, the snake (Copperhead) snake can live from 12 to 15 years, but in fact the average age of these snakes in the wild does not exceed 10 years, since the number of dangers and enemies is large. And at home, with proper care, the snake will live the maximum time allowed by nature.
Poisonous or not snake lozenge ordinary
Despite the rather formidable appearance, aggressive disposition and eerie red eyes, they do not pose a threat to human life. Even if this snake bites through the skin to the blood, the bite is not poisonous, and there will only be a burning sensation at the bite site. Discomfort will bring only a wound that should heal, and a psychological moment - fear. These snakes have glands that produce poison, but the amount of poison is so small that it has no effect on humans at all. The poison of the coppers is deadly only for lizards, small birds and rodents, other similar living creatures.
The answer to the question - the snakefish or lizard - gives science. Scientists refer this animal from the class of reptiles to the suborder of snakes.
Medyanka ordinary in the Red Book takes its place - in some European countries (including in Belarus and Ukraine) it is protected, the law prohibits the capture and destruction of these snakes. But it is not listed in the Red Book of Russia, but it is protected by regional Red Books: Copperhead, under the state security of 23 regions of the Russian Federation, Bashkortostan, Mordovia, Chuvashia, Udmurtia, Kalmykia and Tatarstan. In the Vladimir and Penza regions, the snake is included in appendices to the local Red Books.
And about another representative of the world of snakes - yellow-belly snake read here.
Lifestyles and habits
It is time to talk about where the mediatic is found. What lands do you prefer? And what is their temper? After all, the only way to understand where you can meet this reptile, and how it will behave at the same time.
So, Copperhead prefers deciduous forests, although this does not mean that it can not be found in a pine forest. It is just that in such an area it is much easier for her to find prey by hiding in the foliage that fell from the trees. But the grassland dislikes the meadows and steppes, as its natural enemies live there.
But at the same time it builds a nest near open areas, such as glades or small glades. Like any snake, the Copperhead loves sunshine, so during the daytime she often basks in the sun. By the way, it also hunts in the light of the sun, and only occasionally crawls out at night.
By nature, coppers are lonely, and sometimes they can even attack their relatives. Because of this, you rarely see two snakes in the same area. Moreover, the Copperpipe is strongly attached to its nest and can live there its whole life. And negligent neighbors, encroaching on her "living space", she immediately attacks. Therefore, you should not look into her hole, let alone pick there with a stick.
What do the coppers eat?
The diet of these snakes is not very large, since their size does not allow to hunt large game. Therefore, small rodents and insects are often the victims of coppers. The favorite delicacy of these snakes are lizards, especially those that do not grow to large sizes.
How to hunt a snake coop? What is dangerous for forest dwellers? We should start with the fact that this snake is very slow, and therefore, if the victim noticed it, it can easily escape from it. Therefore, coppers have preferred to ambush, hiding in the foliage or grass, until the “food” itself comes to them.
And after the game comes to the desired distance, Copperfish attacks her. Thanks to her musculature, she easily holds the victim, wrapping her body around like a boa. The grip is so strong that a mouse or lizard is unable to even move. After this, the fishworm begins to slowly eat its prey.
According to scientists, this snake has a good appetite, which means that it can hunt for hours on end. There have been cases when inside the stomach of dead individuals they found three or even four lizards. It even goes so far that the snake swallowed prey at 30 cm, and this despite the fact that its own length did not exceed 50 cm.
Medyanki are lumped only in the mating season. And that, after the process of conception is over, the male leaves his companion forever.
In one brood, a Copperhead can produce up to 12 children. Snakes are born alive, but they are in the egg. Interestingly, after the hatchlings hatch, they immediately leave the nest. Even at such a young age, they are able to stand up for themselves and know how to hunt properly.
Medyanka: poisonous or not?
So, you need to immediately say: these snakes still have poisonous glands. Here they only use them very rarely. Often this happens in cases where the snake has caught a strong prey or she has to protect her life.
The bite of the fishworm is deadly only for small animals, especially cold-blooded ones. Quite often she has to use poison against lizards, because they can badly spoil the snake's mood. Бывает, чт в схватке за свою жизнь ящерица может откусить часть медянки, что впоследствии может сказаться на ее здоровье.
Опасность для человека
Теперь давайте разберемся в том, какую опасность представляет для человека медянка. Ядовитая или нет она для него? И что будет, если эта змея все же укусит случайного прохожего?
Итак, человек может не бояться за свою жизнь, так как яд медянки довольно слабый. In addition, its glands are unable to produce it in large quantities, which means there is nothing to be afraid of. Yes, and the teeth of a snake are deep in the mouth, and it is quite difficult for her to bite a person. Is that she will have the opportunity to attack the hand.
But even so, a person is much more likely to die from a bite of a bee than from the poison of a cooper. What is true, the discomfort will still remain, especially if you do not treat the wound immediately after the attack.
Where did the rumors of cooper venom come from?
Now, when everything is known about coppers, one thing remains to be seen: where did all these rumors about her poison come from? In reality, everything is very simple - human ignorance is to blame.
After all, in nature there are snakes that are similar to coppers, but very poisonous. For example, in Russia such representatives are vipers. According to external signs, it is rather difficult to distinguish them from coppers, especially if the person is not too familiar with the world of reptiles. That is why before people considered them one kind of snake.
In this regard, the coppers were persecuted and tried to kill at the first meeting. Although in order to distinguish them from the viper, you only need to look at the head. In the coypod, it almost joined the body, while in the "sister" the front part resembles the point of a spear. Therefore, a knowledgeable person will know without any problems who should be afraid, and who is harmless for him.
Copperhead color is clear from the title. Varying from light gray to almost black, for the most part, the color of the peppea is coppery red on the belly and reddish on the back. It is believed that the grayworms live mainly in the southern regions. It has also been observed that during the period of molting, the cooper becomes darker than its usual color and can turn from gray to dark brown and even black.
It is interesting! Copperhead eyes are often red in color and the tail is 4 times smaller than the body.
Copper males are different in color from females. Their tones are reddish, while females have brownish tones. Also by the intensity of the tone, you can determine the age of the mediola. Young snakes are always brighter. If there is a drawing, then it is more contrast and more noticeable. As for the picture on the general background, it is not an obligatory sign of the common parasite. In some individuals, the body has brown and black spots and lines, in some it does not, or these spots are so weakly expressed that they are almost indistinguishable.
There are 5 characteristic features of the verdigris. They are its distinctive features from the viper, with which the cooper is often confused because of the similarity in size and color.
Flat head almost merging with the body.
- The viper has a clear line between the head and the body.
The head is covered with large shields.
Scales smooth, with brilliant copper tints.
- At the viper scales ribbed.
The pupil of the cooper is round.
- The viper has a vertical pupil.
Copperhead has no venomous teeth.
Medyanka heat-loving. She chooses open glades and glades for nests, and on a good day she loves to soak up the sunshine. For the same reason, this snake is active during the day and rarely goes on a night hunt, preferring to remain in its shelter when it is dark and cool.
Medyanka tied to their nests. And not in a hurry to change the habitat - the chosen crack in the rock between the stones, the old rodent hole, the emptiness under the bark of a fallen tree. Choosing a cozy place, this snake will be faithful to him all his life, if someone does not destroy her house.
Medyanka - loner. She doesn't need company. Moreover, this snake will protect its plot from a relative. If necessary, even take a violent attack on an undesirable neighbor, bite him and eat. That is why in one small area not to meet two coppers. The only period when these snakes go into communication is mating. But after intercourse, the paths of partners diverge forever.
Medianka swim well, but do not like to do it. They come into contact with water extremely reluctantly and as necessary. Never settle in wet places.
Medyanki slow. For this reason, they have a special hunting tactic. They do not pursue the game, but prefer to watch it, remaining motionless in ambush for a long time. When the opportune moment comes, the snake lunges toward the victim and grabs her. Powerful musculature allows the medyanka, holding the prey with an iron grip, twist it so tightly that it becomes completely immovable. These strong hugs are not necessary to strangle the victim. Medyanka may well hold it tight so that it is more convenient to swallow it whole.
Copperhead has a characteristic defensive tactic.. In the case when the victim is the honey itself, she applies defensive tactics: she collapses into a tight tangle, inside of which she hides her head. From time to time, she pokes her head out of a ball and makes a throw in the direction of the enemy.
In the hands of a man, a wild coypus will not behave quietly, but will attempt to bite. She is able to bite the skin to the blood. It is possible that such unfriendly behavior assigned to this snake notoriety - poisonous and dangerous. But in fact, she behaves this way because she is very scared. Proof of this is the behavior of the caprine in captivity. Over time, this snake gets used to the terrarium and even begins to take food from the hands of its owner.
Is Copperhead poisonous?
In Russia there was a belief that a snake bite with copper-colored scales would condemn a person to certain death. According to popular rumor, death would certainly have to come at sunset and save the victim of a poisonous bite, supposedly, only extreme measures - a severed arm / leg or a carved piece at the site of the bite. Scientists cool the hot superstitious heads: Cooper for a person is not dangerous. And in general, it belongs to the family of the obsolete.
Medyanka does not pose a deadly threat to humans. And its bite, even before blood, will not lead to the loss of life, only to burning and discomfort, more psychological. Copperhead has poisonous glands, but they produce too little poison to kill such a large predator as a human. But for cold-blooded brothers and small rodents, its poison is a mortal danger.
The habitat of the common copperhead is a vast, but not densely populated forest. You can meet her anywhere - in Europe, Asia, Africa, but these will be isolated individuals. Moreover, the north, the rarer this snake.
It is interesting! Medyanka is much less common than snakes and vipers.
The boundaries of the range of mediola, most often, determined by temperature factor and climatic conditions. Copperfish is seen in Europe in all countries except Ireland, Northern Scandinavia, and Mediterranean islands. In Africa, it is found in the western and northern parts of the continent. In Asia - in the south.
As for Russia, the copperhead settled in all its southern regions. In the east, she reached the south-west of Siberia, in the north - to the Tula, Samara, Kursk and Ryazan regions. In the Moscow and Vladimir regions recorded single finds of this snake. Typical habitats of Copperhead are deciduous and coniferous forests. This snake likes pine forests, but avoids open meadows and steppes. There she is unsafe. Sometimes the fishhead creeps into the mountains, choosing slopes covered with bushes.
The diet of the common loach
The size of this snake does not allow it to glam with the diet. There is not much variation in the menu of the loachy. More than half of it consists of lizards and small snakes. In second place are rodents - mice voles, shrews. Sparrow nestlings and still naked offspring of rodents close the food "three".
It is interesting! Medyanki seen in cannibalism.
The common copperhead is remarkable for its unusual appetite. There were cases when three lizards were simultaneously found in her stomach.
The similarity with the viper and the impressive defensive tactics, coupled with the smelly deterrent secretions of the peri-local glands, do not greatly help the copepod. She has a lot of deadly enemies. The main ones include hedgehogs, martens, wild boars, rats and birds. As long as baby saplings are growing up, even songbirds and grass frogs are scary for them.
Population and species status
The smallness of the population in the habitat is explained, for the most part, by the basis of its food ration - lizards.. This food supply is not as reliable as rodents and frogs. The link of the food chain - Copper-lizard is very durable. And the reduction in the number of lizards immediately negatively affects the number of coppers. The person who kills the coop at the first meeting makes a contribution, mistakenly taking it for a viper.
To date, some European countries are guarding coppers, prohibiting by law their capture and destruction. In Russia, the cooper is not listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. But it is in the regional Red Books of 23 regions of the Russian Federation, the republics of Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, Mordovia, Kalmykia, Tatarstan. The view is in the annex to the Red Books of the Vladimir and Penza regions. In Belarus and Ukraine, the Copper is listed in the Red Book.
The habitat of Copperhead ordinary
Copperfish lives almost throughout Europe, in Asia Minor, Western Kazakhstan, Northern Iran and the Caucasus. In our country, representatives of the species live in the European part, reaching in the east to Western Siberia, and in the north - to Lake Onega.
The habitat of the common parasite is woodland. They live in coniferous, deciduous and mixed natural forests. These snakes prefer the sun edges, overgrown with meadows and clearings. In open areas, such as meadows and steppes, are rare. In the mountains, Copperheads inhabit the slopes covered with bushes. Sometimes these snakes are found in the subalpine zones, at an altitude of 3000 meters.
In some countries coppers are protected by law.
The density of these snakes is insignificant. Medyanka are less common than the snakes and vipers living in the same areas. In many parts of the range (mainly in the north) only a few individuals can be found.
As a rule, these snakes prefer a terrestrial way of life, but sometimes they climb on the branches of shrubs. Copperheads are hidden in rodent holes, in tree trunks, in rock crevices and between stones. Copperheads do not like wet places, they are immersed in water reluctantly, but if necessary, they swim quite well.
Medyanki are heat-loving creatures, so they are active mainly during daytime hours. But sometimes they can be found at dusk or even in the middle of the moonlit night. They are extremely tied to a specific habitat, each individual lives in its own small area, where they live for years.
Medyanki are considered enemies of vipers and snakes.
Medyanki have characteristic defensive tactics. When an enemy attacks a snake, it collapses into a tight tangle, inside which it thrusts its head. If you touch her at that moment, she curls even more. From this position, she sharply rushes toward the enemy. If you take a cooper in your hands, it will bite violently, while it can bite the skin to the blood. Probably because of this, many people treat coppers with a negative.
Sometimes coppers are unreasonably considered to be a more poisonous and dangerous snake than vipers. Sometimes coppers, like snakes, shoot at the enemy with secretions of the subglobal glands. Similarity to the viper and defensive tactics do not always help the mediata to escape. The natural enemies of these snakes are wild boars, martens, birds and rats. For newborn coppers are dangerous large songbirds and frogs.
In captivity, the unfriendly nature of the coppers is gradually tamed, and over time they begin to feed from the hands.
What eat common medyanka?
The diet of the common parasite consists of various vertebrate animals that live in the habitats of these snakes. But they prefer lizards of any kind. Medyankas are rather slow, therefore they prefer to hunt not the victims, but the victims resting in their shelters. So they lie in wait for covert spindles. Often the coppers have been sitting in wait and waiting for the prey when the lizard crawls past, the snake rushes at it like lightning. The snake wraps around the victim with rings of the body, but she does not always choke her, she can simply hold her in a comfortable position for swallowing. Copper muscles are better developed than vipers and snakes. With the help of their body, they can hold the victim by small parts of the body, for example, by the foot.
Small coppersmills can be difficult to cope with large lizards, so sometimes there are real fights, in which, as a rule, the snake wins. Sometimes a lizard in death agony grabs the snake with its jaws so much that the snake has to tear the lizard away from itself along with its own skin. To defeat lizards, the larvae also help their saliva, which for cold-blooded animals is dangerous and poisonous. The saliva of a snake injects into the body of the victim during a strong bite.
The poison is also dangerous for other victims of the coppers - snakes and various snakes. Medyanki show cannibalism. These snakes have an excellent appetite. They can swallow large sacs up to 35 centimeters long, with a length of their own body 57 centimeters, and at once several animals at once - up to 3 lizards are often found in the stomachs of these snakes.
During the search for food, the creeps crawl into the holes of the rodents and gladly eat their offspring. Copperhead spring occur in pairs. During mating, the male coypus, as well as the male of the slender snake, holds its chosen one with its jaws, while it wraps itself around its body. Coppers can also mate in the fall, in which case the female breeds the next summer.