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Northern Watersnake   

Nerodia sipedon sipedon 

Commonly Confused Native Species:




Size:                  A medium to large sized snake measuring 25.5 to 52

                           inches in length.


Color:                Variable pattern ranging from solid black to brownish-red

                           banding on a dark background. The venter is brightly

                           colored with reddish-brown and whitish-yellow

                           markings.  Heavily keeled scales.  Juveniles have a

                           distinct banding pattern.       


Behavior:         Often flees rapidly once detected. May flatten out when

                           detected to appear larger. When handled they emit an

                           unpleasant smelling musk and are very quick to bite.

                           Water snakes are bold and will occasionally approach

                           people in or around water.   If ever approached by one of

                           these snakes please keep in mind they are

                           non-venomous and harmless. 


Habitat:            Most aquatic habitats including ponds, lakes, streams

                          and marshes. Use upland habitats in close proximity to

                          aquatic habitats for basking.        


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