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Water snake5 locationsReptile/Amphibian
.: gummo :.
Jan 26 2010
Along the Park Road - Everglades Na
.: gummo :.
Jul 24 2007
Umpstead State Park
TypeReptile/Amphibian
FamilyColubridae - Snakes - non-venomous
Images Bing, Google

Nerodia sp

Water snakes lives near water: canals, rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, etc. They are usually brown with darker reddish or brown bands, but they can be gray, green, or red as well. They can grow to be 4ft but are usually 2 to 3 ft as full grown adults. They range from southern Ontario and Southern Quebec to north Texas and through Florida and are found most of the central and eastern part of the US. They are active day and night and mainly eat fish and amphibians, but will also eat crayfish, amphibians (including poisonous toads and newts), worms, leeches, birds and small mammals.

When encountered, they tend to flee, but will defend themselves by flattening their head and striking. They are high-energetic and cantankerous by nature and their bite includes a mild anticoagulant, which will allow excessive bleeding. They resemble copperheads, cottonmouths, and milk snakes and often den with copperheads.

Water snakes are very common and are often seen basking in the sun on riverbanks. When they hunt fish, they can lie motionless underwater on the bottom and snag a fish that passes by. Mating occurs generally in the spring but in late February, in Florida, thru June, in the colder regions of its range. They give birth to live-bearing young.

Water snakes are excellent swimmers and swim with their heads on the surface and their bodies under the water surface. They also can swim underwater, which is not common for most snakes.

Personal encounters: I'm not sure why, but I've seen many water snakes with one eye. I'm not sure if it's a common genetic defect or just something that I happen to witness a lot of. Also, the ones that I've caught in Florida were calmer and less cantankerous than the ones I caught in PA and NY.
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