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Northern Watersnake

Nerodia sipedon sipedon


Gray to reddish-brown with dark bands across the back. Bellies have half-moon dark shapes on a cream background. Watersnakes are pretty bitey and aggressive, but non-venomous. Their saliva does have anti-coagulant properties and their teeth tend to break off into the skin, so if you're bitten be sure to clean yourself up properly to prevent infection. This one is a pretty small snake, and when he bit me (because that's what they do) it didnt break the skin, but I would be more careful with adults if I were you. This was captured when I worked on the Mofep Project (and were handling snakes to record them for the study, otherwise its easier on snakes and less stressful if you just look through your camera lens at them).


Missouri Ozarks, forest, marsh, ponds. This one was captured in a dry riverbed on my way from one site to the next.


As fun as it is to handle snakes, I dont like handling water snakes. It makes me angry when they bite me, and I also feel bad for stressing them out so much that they feel like they have to bite me. Its a lose-lose scenario.

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Spotted by

Ellington, Missouri, USA

Spotted on May 29, 2010
Submitted on Sep 23, 2012

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