This was a venomous southern copperhead, A. contortrix contortrix
, a denizen of the pine and deciduous forests of southeastern United States, and perhaps one of the best known, and widest ranging copperhead subspecies. It ranges throughout the Gulf Coast States, up the Mississippi River Valley to the level of southern Illinois and along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from extreme southern Delaware into the Florida panhandle (Gloyd and Conant, 1990), placing it in hurricane-prone areas, which is of importance to those living in these regions, and first-responders offering aid to those affected by such a disaster. Its Floridian range includes Gadsen, Liberty and Calhoun counties near the Apalachicola river basin (Tennant, 1998b). Reports of copperheads elsewhere in Florida are usually attributable to sightings of lightly pigmented cottonmouths or reddish colored non-venomous species such as corn snakes (Pantherophis gutatta
) that are mistakenly identified.