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Mangrove Salt Marsh Snake

nerodia clarkii compressicauda


A friend of mine gave me the common name of Mangrove Viper(?) Looking for positive confirmation. Exact species unknown. About 3 feet long, thick bodied. Beautiful blood red in color.


Salt water estuary-Sanibel Island Florida


Photo taken at J.N."Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. Photographed immediately after sundown on pavement. Snake was oblivious to my presence, which is good because I probably shouldnt have been as close to it as I was.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Mangrove Salt Marsh Snake
Nerodia clarkii

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JosephSpurr 12 years ago

Thank you for your help in the ID of this snake Misha. Apparently you and I are neighbors. Nice to chat with another Floridian :)

MishaCainNell 12 years ago

It's a mangrove salt marsh snake. Kristian is correct. From your description of location of sighting that's the snake that is most commonly found in that location. Mangrove water snakes are such a unique find - you're quite lucky to have seen it AND to get such nice shots too! My only suggestion would be to adjust scientific name to Nerodia clarkii compressicauda. The salt marsh snakes (Gulf, Atlantic, and Mangrove) are divided into 3 subspecies now.

JosephSpurr 12 years ago

Thank you for your input Kristian, youre right this is no viper, but a water snake for sure. I will investigate nerodia species. I have never seen this particular species of snake before, and I havent seen one since the day I took these photos.

Kristian Bell
Kristian Bell 12 years ago

Definitely not a viper, this is a water snake (Nerodia sp.) though I am not 100% of the exact species.

Spotted by

Sanibel, Florida, USA

Spotted on Aug 8, 2010
Submitted on Mar 17, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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