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Chickasaw Indian Basin
Raymond Ditmars would be impressed. I am. There's not much here to see but the discussion is fruitful. i've seen maybe one Cottonmouth and zero Diamondback Water Snake thank you,
I just found a PDF brochure from the Tennessee Herpetological Society which helps readers differentiate water snakes from cottonmouths. Here is the link: http://www.tnherpsociety.org/Cottonmouth...
Wow. I learned a lot on this thread. Mitch and Neil, thanks for sharing your expertise.
I did part of my MS thesis research on cottonmouths and have an extensive photo archive on both cottonmouths and water snakes. I confirm MItch's earlier comments. This snake is from the Genus Nerodia, not Agkistrodon. One final note: look at the very left/middle of this photo and you can see some of the snake's dorsal banding, consistent with a water snake's pattern as adult cottonmouth's tend to be mostly black.
If you look at my Noah pictures, I have 1 close-up of a cottonmouth head and another detailed shot of a northern water snake on a log. Examine those two images and then come back to this one. The characteristics definitely match the northern water snake.
When examining a taxonomic key for snakes, the triangular shaped head is no where near the top of being an identifying feature. Counting scales and looking for landmark characteristics is the way to go. In this picture, the pupil appears round to me, and those big yellowish supralabial scales that create a firm line or crease under the eye - those are traits of the nonvenomous water snakes.
I examined this photo pretty closely in a mac program called Aperture. Unfortunately you lose some detail when you start zooming in on the head. Regardless, the characteristics I see are more consistent with a diamond-back or a northern water snake.
I see the head quite clearly. It lacks the tell-tale eyestripe of a Cottonmouth as well as the black coloration. The triangular head is not always a sure thing. I understand your skepticism, but my credentials are pretty sound. I expect others on this site who are familiar with snakes will bear my ID out.
Sorry but you are mistaken I have been working with snakes for over 10 years and know my snakes. If you were to look at the pic you can clearly see the triangle shaped head which is the first give away.
That's not a Cottonmouth, nor is it a venomous snake. It's clearly some species of watersnake, possible a Diamond-backed Watersnake. It's a shame it died due to misidentification
Spotted on Apr 24, 2011 Submitted on Apr 26, 2011
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