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Water Snake

Nerodia

Description:

Nonvenomous Snake

Habitat:

Chickasaw Indian Basin

1 Species ID Suggestions

Diamondback Water Snake
Nerodia rhombifer Nerodia rhombifer


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11 Comments

Darwin26
Darwin26 9 years ago

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,

NeilDazet
NeilDazet 9 years ago

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...

Yasser
Yasser 9 years ago

Wow. I learned a lot on this thread. Mitch and Neil, thanks for sharing your expertise.

NeilDazet
NeilDazet 9 years ago

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.

NeilDazet
NeilDazet 9 years ago

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.

NeilDazet
NeilDazet 9 years ago

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.

NeilDazet
NeilDazet 9 years ago

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.

MitchRay
MitchRay 9 years ago

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.

autofabwelding
autofabwelding 9 years ago

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.

autofabwelding
autofabwelding 9 years ago

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.

MitchRay
MitchRay 9 years ago

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

autofabwelding
Spotted by
autofabwelding

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Apr 24, 2011
Submitted on Apr 26, 2011

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