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Northern Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon


Dark banded against brown background, sometimes appearing black. They are non-venomous. They are mistaken for "Water Moccasins" by many northern residents, but those are not native to Michigan or other northern areas. Water Moccasin is simply another name for Cotton Mouth, a venomous southern snake.


Shorelines of rivers, lakes, ponds basking by the waters or swimming.

No species ID suggestions


NicholeSauve 2 years ago

Thanx! : ) It's my favorite snake, thus far anyways lol, at least in Michigan. Haven't gotten too many chances to work with or observe more exotic species except when I was younger. And yes, I agree, it is quite a shame about the confusion. It creates a lot of animosity toward any snake species. I've really enjoyed your snake spottings. You have a lot of great shots of beautiful species.

jansonjones 2 years ago

Nichole -- quite nice! We've got a slew of Nerodia species down south in Florida, but not N. sipedon. As with your note regarding northern residents, pretty much all nerodias down here are confused as cottonmouths too. It's a real shame. Folks just assume if it's a snake near water, it must be a cottonmouth. Anyhow, nice sipedon!

Michigan, USA

Lat: 44.42, Long: -84.68

Spotted on Sep 24, 2011
Submitted on Dec 16, 2011

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