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Western Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma


Cottonmouths are a wide-bodied snake, with dark coloration (often so dark that no markings are observed, although there are exceptions). When harassed, they will "gape" to show their name-sake, the white/pink inside of their mouth is bright against their dark bodies. Many people will insist that cottonmouths are aggressive snakes. In my 10+years of being paid to harass venomous snakes, I've never had an incident with a cottonmouth. They will coil, and gape, and sit still as they wait for you leave them alone. Because of their excellent camouflage, they are often stepped on, sat on, or grabbed by accident. In order to prevent an incident, it is wise to watch your step, check your perch before you sit, and keep your eyes open when exploring the wild areas around you. Prevention is key.


Cottonmouths are usually found near aquatic habitats. They can be found in salt or fresh water marshes, in wet forests, or near other permanent or ephemeral water sources.


This one is crossing the road on Matagorda Island.

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Spotted by

Texas, USA

Spotted on May 17, 2012
Submitted on Mar 22, 2013

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