A person can spot a copperhead snake by looking for a reptile between 2 and 3 feet long with copper-red heads and crossbands on their bodies. These crossbands vary in color from dark brown to reddish-brown.
Looking at the snake's crossbands is the easiest way to spot a copperhead snake. The bands run horizontally around the snake's body and have a distinct hourglass or saddlebag shape, a unique characteristic to copperheads. The band widens on the sides of the body and narrows on the top. The bands themselves vary in color. In some cases, the insides of the bands are a different color than the edges. The copperhead has a lighter-colored belly that often has speckles or mottled color to it. The head of the copperhead snake is diamond-shaped and a reddish-copper color with a pair of dark dots on top.
The markings on the copperhead snake vary depending on the species. For instance, the northern copperhead has the thickest crossbands while the crossbands on the Trans-Pecos copperheads are often broken. While the tip of the copperhead tail is normally brown in adults, young snakes have bright yellow tips that they use to lure in unsuspecting animals that believe the yellow is a worm or caterpillar.