What Is It?

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From Xplor: September/October 2020
  • You might see me waiting …
  • …in leaves along a trail.
  • Don’t get too close or touch me.
  • Or I might make you yell.

If you can see the slit-shaped pupils of an eastern copperhead’s eyes, you’re probably too close. But it’s a good way to tell this pit viper from harmless nonvenomous snakes, which have round pupils. Copperheads follow the heat-sensing pits in their faces to find mice and other small prey. The copperhead is shy and won’t strike unless cornered. To avoid its bite, be careful where you walk and reach, especially in rocky woods. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.

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This Issue's Staff

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White