A rather short, heavy-bodied, venomous snake common the the eastern half of Oklahoma. Juveniles look very similar to young copperheads, which are in the same genus. As they mature, they lose the colorful patter and become a nearly solid dark brown or gray. Heat-sensing pits on the face and vertical, cat-like pupils help identify this snake as a pit viper.
Near bodies of water, especially clean streams. This nocturnal snake generally hides in tall grass during the day, although it can occasionally be found sunning itself in the open.
Diet consists primarily of fish, frogs and other snakes.