Water Snakes (Nerodia) vs. Cottonmouths/Water Moccasins (Agkistrodon Piscivorus)

lake and pond managementlake and pond managementAt The Lake Doctors, we feel it is important to inform our clients about certain water snakes (Nerodia), a family of snakes that often get a bad reputation from a case of mistaken identity. Nerodia water snakes are often blamed for being a dangerous predator from the misunderstood species that gives them that persona, cottonmouths/water moccasins (Agkistrodon piscivorous).

Water snakes are commonly mistaken because they share the same habitats and do their best to imitate the cottonmouth. The difficulty in telling these two snakes apart is that both species of snakes come in a wide variety of colors ranging from dark browns, blacks, tans, and a wide variety of patterns. The water snake does its best to flatten out its head to look more threatening, so the head shape is also not a viable method of identification. When in doubt it’s always safer to leave them be instead of doing a closer inspection. Common water snakes are the Florida banded water snake which is non-venomous and the cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin, which is extremely venomous.

Our lake and pond management company strive to stress the importance of being aware of snakes. It is important to leave them alone to enhance your safety while out on the water. Contact us today at 1 (800) 666-5253 to learn more about our aquatic management services.