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Eastern Water Moccasin/Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus


Average adult size is 20-48 inches (51-121 cm), record is 74.5 inches (189 cm). A dark-colored, heavy-bodied snake. Juveniles are brightly colored with reddish-brown crossbands on a brown groundcolor. The dark crossbands contain many dark spots and speckles. The pattern darkens with age so adults retain only a hint of the former banding or are a uniform black. The scales are keeled. The eye is camouflaged by a broad, dark, facial stripe. The tip of the snout has two vertical dark lines. The head is thick and distinctly broader than the neck, and when viewed from above, the eyes cannot be seen. The top of head in front of the eyes is covered with large plate-like scales. The pupil is vertical (catlike). There is a deep facial pit between the nostril and the eye. Young juvenile cottonmouths have a sulfur-colored tail.


Cottonmouths can be found along streams, springs, rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, sloughs, reservoirs, retention pools, canals, and roadside ditches.


I caught this one crossing a dirt road in Newport, NC. Very laid back and easy to manage to take the photos i wanted. Afterwards I finished helping him cross the road in the direction he was headed.

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ChunXingWong 9 years ago

Truly beautiful.
I love it's pose in the first photograph, looks like it is expecting rain.

KenCheeks 9 years ago

Just a great set of shots!

LisaPowers 9 years ago

Beautiful series of one of my favorite venomous species!

Please be sure to add this to the Snakes of the United States – CSC mission to help with their citizen science project!

harsuame 9 years ago

Woow espectacular series ::

EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Impressive shots!

KaranS.Raghwa 9 years ago

Great shot...amazing

Venomous but beautiful.

Spotted by

North Carolina, USA

Spotted on May 30, 2012
Submitted on Feb 21, 2013

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