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.