Length 24-36 in. (61-91 cm.)
Copperheads are widely scattered throughout Virginia.  Although they occupy a variety of  habitats from floodplains to  ridge tops, they show a marked preference for the rocky, wooded  hillsides of the piedmont and mountains. They are not as averse to civilization as the  timber rattler, but copperheads tend to stay away from well settled areas. They eat small rodents, birds, lizards, snakes, amphibians, and insects.

Their coloration not only acts as  excellent camouflage, but also makes them one of Virginia's most beautifu reptiles. They derive their name from the copper-like coloring of the head.When encountered,  copperheads are usually content to lie motionless, or retreat if given the chance. But if aroused, they will vibrate their tail rapidly and strike wildly, much like their more aggressive relative the cottonmouth  water moccasin.

Except in early spring and late fall,  most of their day is spent in hiding. They hunt small mammals, birds, and  amphibians by night. One of the best ways to see copperheads is to go for  a drive at night, especially after a warm rain has broken a long hot, dry  spell. Copperheads enjoy lying on  wet, steaming roads.