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Brown Water Snake

Nerodia taxispilota

Water snakes are common in or near shallow lakes, ponds, marshes, canals and roadside ditches. They often bask in the sun, and several can sometimes be seen basking together on a fallen tree or a branch overhanging the water.

The brown water snake is a large, heavy-bodied snake that may grow to 1.7 meters (5 ft 6 in) long.  It is dull brown in color with three rows of dark square-like blotches along the back and sides.  The underside is creamy yellow with a pattern of square blotches. This large snake is frequently confused with the water moccasin because they both live in the same kinds of habitats.  Due to this mistaken identification, many water snakes are killed each year when they emerge to bask on logs or boat docks.

Water snakes feed mainly on frogs, fish, and tadpoles.  If cornered or annoyed these snakes will strike viciously, and can inflict slashing wounds and a deep painful bite.  They feed on frogs, fish and other small vertebrates.

Brown water snakes bear live young.  They breed in mid to late summer and give birth to 30-40 young.



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