Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster
When speaking of these snakes, the local herpers usually refer to them as "pics", sometimes "copperheads".
The Trans-Pecos copperhead is found from Val Verde County west through Presidio County,and from the Davis Mountains south through the Big Bend. They are not reported from Culberson County.
In eastern Val Verde County there are indications that the pictigaster intergrade with the broadbanded copperheads (A. c. laticinctus.)
These are medium sized snakes, usually found under 32 inches long. They are rather drab as babies but get more and more color the larger they get. Often the adults will show up in the headlights as bright red.
They are not an uncommon snake in most of the Trans-Pecos, but prefer to live near a source of water. In one area, while field collecting, I have on several occassions seen ten or twelve pictigaster in less than thirty minutes.
They are an active snake. They do not like to be handled, pinned or hooked. When pinned, they will whip about and stand a chance of breaking their necks. They are fast to bite and rarely give a dry bite.
The two pictured below are both females. The lighter one is from Black Gap Rd. just outside the NE side of Big Bend National Park The Darker one is from dirt Pandale Rd, just south of the Crockett County line in Val Verde County.