Throwback Thursday: Florida Water Snake

On a group walk to the Observation Tower at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) on 8-14-2009, we encountered this husky Florida water snake (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris).  These semi-aquatic snakes are found throughout the southeast.  They are NOT poisonous but, when threatened, will bite and will release a stinky musk.

This thick-bodied snake can grow to be 3 1/2′ long.  As they age, they darken, and the bands become less evident.  The snake that we saw had a puncture wound on its tail end.

This feisty snake sometimes is mistaken for a cottonmouth snake because they occupy similar habitats.  The eyes of Florida banded snakes are round, while cottonmouth snakes have elliptical eyes.  Cottonmouths also have a facial pit between their eyes.

Camera-shy Bob Montanaro is shown below returning to his car after a hot August hike …

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