Brown Water Snake

Brown Water Snake Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Nerodia taxispilota
Brown Water Snake Physical Characteristics
Up to 9 years in captivity
Brown Water Snake Distribition

“Brown water snakes are generally seen with the backs of catfish they have actually consumed protruding of their sides!”

Brown water snakes are water snakes from The United States and Canada that feed mainly on fish. Brown snakes are generally seen with the backs of catfish they have actually consumed protruding of their sides! They usually recoup from these injuries. These snakes are nonvenomous and not hostile, yet they can be misinterpreted for the dangerous cottonmouth.

4 Amazing Brown Water Snake Realities!

  • They handle an unsafe victim– catfish that have sharp backs. These backs might puncture the snake after the fish is ingested, yet the snake generally endures and recoups.
  • They befall of trees right into the water when alarmed.
  • They quest by fragrance as opposed to by aesthetically tracking activity.
  • They launch a stinky musk when discouraged.

Where To Locate Brown Water Snakes

Brown water snakes are native to the island or belonging to southeastern The United States and Canada. This consists of the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Brown watersnakes are usually discovered at altitudes varying from water level to 500 feet. Their environment and area include streams, swamps, and various other damp locations. They should have a marine environment considering that their main food resource is a diet of fish.

Scientific Name

The brown water snake, additionally led to watersnake, has the scientific name Nerodia taxispilota It was very first defined clinically in 1842 by the American zoologist and herpetologist John Holbrook, that after that called the species Tropidonotus taxispilotus, appointing it to a various genus. In 1889, zoologist Edward Cope offered it the recognition Natrix taxispilota. The brown watersnake obtained its existing scientific recognition in 1991. It becomes part of the family Colubridae and class Reptilia, a reptile.

Various other usual names for the brown watersnake consist of water rattle, the southerly water snake, the pied water snake, the better water snake, the water- pilot, the aspic, and the incorrect moccasin.

Often, the usual name “brown water snake” is additionally related to the species Lycodonomorphus rufulus. These 2 species must not be puzzled in recognition, as L. rufulus is belonging to South Africa.

Populace & & Conservation Status

The brown watersnake prevails or of least concern throughout its environment. It is not secured in much of its variety, yet there are locations in which eliminating the brown water snake is prohibited, consisting of the state of Georgia.

Appearance and Summary

These snakes have a thick, hefty body that is brown with darker brown rectangle-shaped spots. The spots on the back are bigger than those on the sides, and back and side spots are generally not attached. They have a wide, triangular- designed head with a noticeably narrower neck for its dimension. Therefore, it is often misidentified as a poisonous snake.

Brown water snakes have actually keeled ranges. This indicates that the ranges are not smooth yet have a ridge down the facility. It has even more ranges than any kind of various other water snake on the continent– 27 to 33 rows of dorsal ranges. It additionally has 2 to 4 former temporal ranges behind the eyes, whereas the majority of various other snakes have just one.

Brown water snakes are usually 3.5 to 5 feet in size. The document dimension is almost 6 feet in size at 69 inches.

Child snakes are smaller sized than grown-up reptiles yet the child’s shades coincide as the grownups’ shades. This makes the recognition of the child much easier.

Exactly How to Recognize a brown water snake:

  • Brown base shade with darker brown rectangle-shaped spots
  • Big spots on the back, smaller sized spots on the sides
  • Hefty body with a wide, triangular head
  • Eyes established towards the top of the head
  • Yellow or lotion tinted stubborn belly

Brown Water Snake vs Cottonmouth

Cottonmouths and brown water snakes are typically baffled due to the similar variety, environment area, shades, body, and head form.

In the American South, it is typically duplicated that poisonous snakes have triangular- designed heads. These are truths of the rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads that reside in that area, yet it is additionally real of nonvenomous species like the brown water snake. Regretfully, this causes individuals eliminating water snakes, assuming they threaten.

There are a couple of refined distinctions to search for to inform these snakes apart. Cottonmouths are pit vipers; they have warmth- noticing pits in between the eye and nostril. Water snakes do not have these pits.

In addition, cottonmouths have a distinct intense white pigmentation inside their mouths– therefore the name. The white internal cellular lining of the mouth can be seen when the snake is flustered and positioned to strike. Brown water snakes have dark- tinted mouths.

The students of the reptile’s eyes are additionally somewhat various, with the watersnake’s being rounder.


The dark brown spots on the back on bigger than those on the side. csraphotography

The bottom of this snake is yellow or lotion- tinted. passion4nature

These snakes have a triangular head, with the eyes being established towards the top. passion4nature

Poison: Exactly How Unsafe Are They?

Brown water snakes have no poison. When intimidated, they are most likely to leave. Nonetheless, these snakes are predators and will certainly attack if collared. Though not poisonous, snake attacks can come to be contaminated and need healthcare.

Actions and Humans

These snakes are timid and are most likely to leave if come close to by a human. They typically hinge on tree branches looming a body of water. They can make a fast trip by coming under the water if disrupted.

If collared or caught, brown water snakes will certainly coil, hiss, strike, and effort to attack. They additionally launch a stinky musk when discouraged.

Humans are a much bigger risk to these predators than they are to us. Annually, a number of these snakes are unnecessarily eliminated since they are misinterpreted for poisonous water snakes. Some are eliminated just since some individuals hesitate of all snakes, no matter the species.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory: UGA, Available here:

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