Snakes

Common Water Snake (Formerly known as Northern Watersnake)

Common Water Snake (Formerly known as Northern Watersnake)

Other Names: Common Water Snake

Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon

Family: Natricidae

Nonvenomous

 

Description & Size

  • Legless
  • No eyelids
  • Lacks external ears
  • Each scale has a prominent ridge in the middle (strongly keeled)
  • Anal plate is divided
  • Total length:  52.1-140.0 cm (20.5-55.1 in)
  • Reddish-brown bands at the front of the body and gradually turn to blotches as it reaches the tail
    • These patterns can be lost with age

Habitat

  • Permanent bodies of water
  • Streams
  • Marshes

Diet

  • Fish
  • Amphibians
  • Crayfish
  • Aquatic insects
  • Small mammals
  • Nesting birds

Life History

  • Diurnal or Nocturnal
  • Active season:  Early April – October
  • Breeding season:  Late April – July
  • Gives live birth (10-40 young)

Range

Common Water Snake (Formerly known as Northern Watersnake) Range