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Types of Florida Water Snakes

Florida Water Snake

04.14.2008 - Several species of water snake slither and swim their way through Florida's lakes and swamps. The most feared is the venomous Cottonmouth, or Water Moccasin, as some call it. While these snakes are in fact common in some areas, and while you certainly don't want to be bitten by such a snake, most of the water snakes in Florida are in fact harmless. The above photo is of a Brown Water Snake that I caught. This snake poses no danger. It's not poisonous, and is usually docile. Any snake can strike if provoked, but most would much rather just swim away in peace than have to bite. Would you rather bite a very large stranger nearby, or just mind your own business? If the answer is the former, you either need help, or you're suited toward a career as a nuisance wildlife trapper. But if your answer is the latter, you are a sensible chap, and very much in tune with the mindset of your average water snake, who would no sooner bite you than bite the steak skewer at Pollo Tropical (man, that thing is nasty).

If you see a water snake, just leave it alone. It's that simple. And if you must identify it, just remember that the Cottonmouth is very fat and likely black, and has a white mouth and a stripe leading back from its eye. The most common water snake in Florida is the Banded Water Snake, which if course is also harmless. Mud Snakes often live in watery or swampy areas. They too are docile and non-venomous. So even if the above pictured snake looks scary, please be aware that it's a nice gentle fellow, and it's probably more scared of you than you are of gasoline prices.

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