Brown Watersnake
(Nerodia  taxispilota)

Description: This large snake (30-60 in, 76-152 cm) has keeled scales and is dark brown in coloration. It has alternating dark blotches on the back and sides. The belly is lighter with some mottling. They have narrow heads and eyes are positioned further forward on the head than other watersnakes.

Natural History: This snake is rarely found far from flowing aquatic habitats such as rivers, streams, and blackwater creeks. It eats fish, but specializes in consuming catfish. They may be observed basking on river banks or over hanging limbs. If approached they will drop and disappear into the water. If they are grabbed they will not hesitate to bite their captor.

Similar Species: The dark brown body with alternating dark blotches on back and sides helps distinguish this species from other Watersnakes and the venomous Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus).

Distribution: This snake is found in piedmont and coastal plains of the Southeastern United States from Virginia through peninsular Florida.

Contributed by Jake Zadik (2/24/2020)