Peculiarities and habitat of copperfish
Copper snake (as seen on a photo) has a color corresponding to its name. And among the shades inherent in it, one can note a gamut from light shades of gray to brown-dark.
IN description of the snake it should be noted that a characteristic feature of her appearance is the presence of scales near the head and belly, having a hexagonal and rhomboid shape with shiny copper tints.
Males, whose skin sometimes has reddish hues, as a rule, are somewhat lighter than females. The body color of the snake may be monotonous, but in some individuals the body is covered with brown and black spots and lines.
The age can also be determined by the tones of the color of the snake: young individuals are distinguished by the brightness of colors and are usually more noticeable against the background of nature. The body length of the snake is up to 70 cm, but its small size is compensated by a very developed musculature. The tail is 4-6 times smaller than the body.
Copper snake found in almost all corners of the earth. Not all species are well studied, but new species are constantly being discovered. Scientists have clearly described only three species of similar reptiles that live mainly in Europe, in the west and north of the African continent and in the southern regions of Asia.
In Russia, the most common are copperfish, common throughout the European part up to the west of Siberia. Copper cones are mainly found in deciduous forests; in such a habitat, it is easier for her to hide in foliage from enemies and trap her prey.
You can meet a snake in a pine forest. But the meadows and steppes, in which there are many dangers for her, she prefers to avoid. Many consider the copperfish as a lizard; this is even mentioned in some literary works. So copperfish lizard or snake?
The confusion stems from the fact that in many places the legless spindle lizard is called a coppers. However, from a scientific point of view, coppers are typical representatives of the snake species.
Care and lifestyle coppers
People are very wary of snakes, and are especially afraid of those who live near their homes. The snake's neighborhood is never pleasant and gives rise to many fears, even mystical stories and superstitious conjectures.
The eyes of the copperfish are often red, which since ancient times has given rise to attribute to it magical abilities and consider such reptiles to be envoys of evil sorcerers who send a curse on the house, various diseases on the owners and cattle.
Poisonous whether a snake is a copper or not? In ancient Russia, it was believed that a bite of a snake with copper-tinged scales promises a person an inevitable death by sunset, which often pushed people to extreme measures.
Frightened victims of superstition cut their own flesh in the bite and even cut off the affected limbs. However, coppers belong to the family of already distinctive and are not particularly dangerous for humans. The reason for the spread of exaggerated rumors is the outward similarity of this variety of reptiles with some types of vipers.
What does a snake and by what characteristic features can it be distinguished from poisonous and dangerous representatives? There is no obvious separation between the head and the body in the coppers. Vipers, on the contrary, have a clear line between these parts of the body.
There are poisonous glands in coppers, but harmful substances in such snakes are not produced in large quantities. Bark snake bite for a person is too weak.
And snakes use their weapons quite rarely, usually for self-defense and in cases of collisions with a strong enemy. The poison is mortally dangerous only for cold-blooded brethren, small animals and other animals.
Copperworms love to hide in thickets of forests, but they build a nest in clearings and clearings, preferring open spaces, often crawling out on a nice day to bask in the sun. They are loners in their way of life, and even cases of attacks on their relatives are not uncommon among this type of reptile.
Particularly fierce attacks are observed when brothers make attempts to settle in the places of their nests. That is why in one small area it is rarely possible to meet two individuals of this variety of snakes.
Copperworms are unusually attached to their nest, often living in the same place throughout their lives. It’s better for a person not to touch snake holes and not destroy them by picking with sticks.
Although the bite of this variety of reptiles is not fatal for a person, discomfort can manifest enough than and dangerous snake especially when it is not possible to timely process the affected area.
In nature, coppers have many enemies, which include rats, wild boars, hedgehogs, martens, as well as some species of birds. Young cubs are able to feast even grass frogs.
When defending, the snake shrinks into a tight ball, pulling its head in, or vice versa, hissing rushes toward the threat. Collisions of lizards with copper snake. Such adversaries are capable of causing serious harm by biting off some part of the snake body.
Coppers are often kept in a terrarium, where they usually reproduce fragments of wildlife close to the conditions in which they are used to living. A certain temperature is maintained there and there are tanks for drinking and swimming, sometimes even a swimming pool.
The coppers prefer to hunt in the light of the sun, and only occasionally go out for a walk and profit at night. The small size does not allow this variety of reptiles to hunt for large prey, so their diet does not suffer from diversity, but the appetite is quite excellent.
Their victims can be insects, small rodents and lizards, which coppers eat in large quantities and almost entirely, even when the size of the unfortunate is almost the same as her own.
The attack of the coppers is prevented by the snake's natural slowness, which in many cases allows its prey to slip away. That is why they prefer to wait for their victims in a certain place, hiding in secluded corners, setting an ambush in the grass or foliage.
In these cases, the snake boasts patience and guards its prey for hours on end. When the victim approaches a certain distance, the snakes rush at it and easily hold it at the expense of iron grip and powerful muscles, wrapping around its prey with its whole body so that it cannot even move.
Reproduction and longevity
Accustomed to living in complete solitude of the coppers, they show a desire for the society of their relatives only in the mating season. But after intercourse, the partner leaves the companion, and their paths diverge forever.
Copper snake eggs already contain living snakes. There can be a dozen cubs in one brood. Hatching their eggs, they immediately leave their mother’s nest, from birth having the skills of survival, nutrition and hunting. And after three years, they themselves are already participating in the breeding process.
Snakes are usually considered long-livers. But scientists believe that the life span of these reptiles directly depends on their size. Such small representatives as copperfish live about 10-15 years. However, in captivity, which provides excellent nutrition, care and assistance of a veterinarian, snakes usually live longer than in the wild, where they have a huge number of enemies.