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Yellow tails of juvenile Cottonmouths and Copperheads

Juvenile Cottonmouths and Copperheads have bright, sulfur yellow-colored tails that they use as a lure to attract prey. Young juveniles hold the tail upright (vertical) and wiggle the yellow tip like a caterpillar to lure small prey within striking distance.

yellow tail snake

A young Cottonmouth with a yellow tail

yellow tail snake

yellow tail snake

As the Cottonmouth grows older the tail darkens to black

yellow tail snake

Juvenile Pigmy Rattlesnakes also have yellow tails

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