Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Northern water snakes, mating

Nerodia sipedon


They are active during the day and at night.




I came across these snakes while two males were attempting to mate with a female that had recently had a meal. Two more males were swimming along the shoreline near them. Unfortunately, the female was injured; she appeared to have a serious mouth infection and/or other injuries, although she was still slowly moving. Flies had laid eggs all over her head and neck and inside her mouth and she was unlikely to survive. According to the NC Museum of Natural Science’s herpetology collection manager, males would mate with an injured female since mating is all about scent and pheromones for them, and they would have no way of knowing or understanding the female was sick or injured if she smelled like a female. He said they will also mate with recently dead females.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

1 Comment

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 10 years ago

Great spotting. How sad about the female snake, though.

Maria dB
Spotted by
Maria dB

North Carolina, USA

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

Related Spottings

Banded Water Snake Plain-bellied water snake Diamondback Water Snake (Juvenile) Plain-bellied Watersnake

Nearby Spottings

Bronzed tiger beetle Northern water snake, males Bald eagle Osprey
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team