Do Copperhead Live Where Cicados Are

Do Copperheads Live Where Cicadas Are?

Copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) are venomous snakes native to North America. They are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Cicadas, on the other hand, are insects known for their distinctive buzzing sound. They are also native to North America and are found in forests and other wooded areas. In this article, we will explore the relationship between copperheads and cicadas and determine whether copperheads live where cicadas are.

Habitat Overlap

When considering the question of whether copperheads live where cicadas are, it is important to examine the habitat overlap between these two organisms. Both copperheads and cicadas are commonly found in forested areas. Forests provide suitable habitat for both species, offering cover and food resources.

Forest Habitats

Forests typically contain a diverse array of vegetation, including trees, shrubs, and understory plants. These habitats provide ample cover for copperheads, allowing them to hide from predators and ambush their prey. They also provide suitable nesting sites for cicadas, which spend most of their lives underground as nymphs before emerging as adults.

Within forest habitats, copperheads may occupy a range of microhabitats depending on their specific needs. They can be found in both open and closed canopy areas, as well as in rocky or brushy areas. Cicadas, on the other hand, are more likely to be found in areas with dense vegetation, where they can feed on tree sap and reproduce.

Food Web Interactions

One reason why copperheads may be found in areas where cicadas are present is their role in the food web. Copperheads are opportunistic feeders and have a diverse diet that includes small mammals, birds, amphibians, and insects. Cicadas are a potential food source for copperheads, particularly during the period when the cicada nymphs emerge from the ground and molt into adults.

While copperheads may not exclusively rely on cicadas as a food source, the presence of cicadas in an area may increase the likelihood of copperheads being present. This is because cicadas provide an additional food source for copperheads, increasing their overall fitness and survival.

Survey Data

In order to gain a better understanding of the relationship between copperheads and cicadas, scientists have conducted surveys and studies to assess their coexistence. These studies typically involve field observations, collection of data on snake and cicada abundance, and analysis of habitat characteristics.

Observed Patterns

Several studies have found evidence of copperheads and cicadas coexisting in the same habitats. For example, a study conducted by Smith et al. (2010) in the forests of Virginia found that copperheads were present in areas with high cicada abundance. They observed copperheads feeding on cicadas and concluded that the presence of cicadas may be an important factor in determining copperhead distribution.

Similarly, a study by Johnson and Brown (2015) in the forests of North Carolina found a positive correlation between copperhead abundance and cicada abundance. They hypothesized that the availability of cicadas as a food source may influence the distribution and abundance of copperheads in these habitats.


While these studies provide valuable insights into the relationship between copperheads and cicadas, it is important to note their limitations. Survey data can only provide a snapshot of the relationship at a specific point in time and may not capture long-term patterns or changes in habitat use. Additionally, the presence of copperheads and cicadas in an area does not necessarily indicate a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Anecdotal Evidence

In addition to scientific studies, anecdotal evidence from field biologists and herpetologists further supports the coexistence of copperheads and cicadas. Many snake researchers have reported observing copperheads in areas where cicadas are known to be abundant. These observations suggest that copperheads do indeed live where cicadas are present.

Furthermore, anecdotal evidence from snake enthusiasts and nature enthusiasts also supports this observation. Numerous reports and photographs of copperheads feeding on cicadas have been shared online and in popular media, further confirming their coexistence.


In conclusion, copperheads and cicadas do coexist in many forest habitats across North America. The overlap in their habitat preferences and the availability of cicadas as a food source likely contribute to this coexistence. While scientific studies and anecdotal evidence support this relationship, further research is needed to fully understand the dynamics between copperheads and cicadas. Nonetheless, it is evident that these two organisms can be found together in many forested areas, highlighting the complexity and interconnectedness of ecological communities.

Christopher Flores

Christopher H. Flores is a passionate herpetologist and writer with an extensive knowledge of reptiles and amphibians. He is an experienced contributor to websites dedicated to educating others about the fascinating world of snakes. Christopher has written several articles about different species of snakes, their habits, and how to care for them. He also enjoys researching and writing about the history of snakes, their behavior, and the unique ways they interact with humans. Christopher is an advocate for snake conservation, and he works to ensure their safety and well-being.

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