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Nerodia sipedon sipedon
Adult coiled up in branches a couple of feet of the ground near flat branch creek. Coloring is variable - tan, brown, rust, gray. Notice the heavily keeled scales (each scale has a line / ridge in middle). Herpetologists often use this trait when differentiating snakes.
A rocky beach area of a small to medium sized freshwater creek.
This snake is frequently misidentified as a cottonmouth or 'water mocassin' and needlessly killed. Tennessee Herpetology Society produced this brochure on telling the difference between common water snakes and the venomous cottonmouth: http://www.tnherpsociety.org/Cottonmouth...