Banded Water Snake Facts

The banded water snake can be found across the Coastal Plain in North and South Carolina, Georgia and around Florida. It’s range goes west across the Alabama and Mississippi, and into Louisiana, Arkansas as well as the northeast Oklahoma.

The species occurs as far north as Illinois and southeast Missouri. In a situation similar to that of several Florida invasive snake species, then that they have been introduced in California. At which the 2 come in touch, In addition they hybridize with the Salt Marsh Snake.

The banded water snake are available in nearly all freshwater habitats in its range, such as ponds or lakes, rivers, rivers, wetlands, swamps, canals, wet prairies and marshes. They are occasionally found in brackish waters.

In the southern areas of its large selection, they may be active all year round, but it will become dormant during the cold winter season. From the colder weather, the banded water snake may take refuge in burrows or under piles of plant and hibernate, or more accurately brumate.

The banded water snake is both a diurnal and nocturnal species, but during the summertime intense heat, it becomes most active at night. Their first response takes refuge and is fleeing if disturbed.

But should corner the banded watersnake can change its head and body to look larger and perhaps hoping to mimic other dangerous venomous snakes. If the threat stays they will hit repeatedly and invisibly. It is going to emit a foul-smelling musk stepped in an effort to dissuade its attacker or if picked up.

As implied by its name, all these snakes are extremely strong swimmers, spending about 2/3 of its own life in the water. They have been recorded submerged for over 20 minutes, so now that is impressive.

These snakes step in 24 to 42 inches (61 to 107 cm) in length, with a record size of 62.5 inches (159 cm) in a Florida specimen.

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The banded watersnake species displays sexual dimorphism. Females are heavier and longer although proportionally men do have more tails. Women grow faster than males.

Banded Water Snake

All these are midsize, heavy-bodied semi-aquatic water snakes, using a variable earth color which range from yellow-tan, grey, reddish, light brown to brown and black.

Darker crossbands insure the entire body usually, these have a tendency to be wider over the trunk and slim along the sides. In old specimens, this contrasting routine is sometimes so faint that they appear to be nearly uniform dark brownish in colour. Even in the exact subspecies, there’s extensive variation coloration that is individual.

They’ve strongly keeled scales over the trunk. Their mind is wider than the neck with round eyes, typically having a top and lighter colour on either side. There is a clear dark stripe running to the corners of the mouth.

They have a tan or yellowish belly marked with black or dark brown, large triangular or rectangular shaped stains.

​Although somewhat similar the mark on the venomous copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), are formed similar to an hourglass.

They are also known by several other popular titles such as Cope’s water snake, southern banded water snake, southeastern banded water snake, southern banded watersnake, broad-banded watersnake, banded watersnake, Florida banded water snake, Florida watersnake.

Curiously queen snakes (Regina septemvittata) are also called the banded water snakes however, are totally unrelated to the”real” banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata).


These water snakes feed mainly on amphibians and fish, including minnows along with pikes, eels along with also the occasional crayfish. The Florida water snake subspecies diet is composed mainly of cows, although throughout the majority of its range another subspecies have a tendency to eat fish.

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These snakes are more active foragers, they utilize their Jacobson’s organ combined with the forked tongue to detect prey. By turning its head that they pursue and immediately flush prey, kill and swallow it whole.

They are non-venomous but do possess an anti-clotting chemical in their spit, if prey escapes it’s going to leave a blood flow for the snake to accompany. What’s interesting and unusual is as normal in most snakes is consumed head-first that cows are absorbed rear-first and seeds.


Very little is understood regarding the species breeding, however in spring men have been observed engaging in courtship aggregations likely hoping to mate with females that are receptive. It’s considered that several men may attempt to mate with one female simultaneously.

Both courtship season and hatchlings birth time depends on geographic location and subspecies however they’re usually thought to partner in the spring. These are snakes that develop in the torso of the female.

Young snakes are often born between July and October, though the Florida watersnake is thought to give birth between May and August. The clutch size fluctuates anywhere from 9 up to 57 hatchlings, but normally a mean of 20 to 25 per litter. The toddlers are approximately 8 to 9.5 inches (200–240 mm) in length.


The banded watersnake is categorized as Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. There are no known threats to the watersnake, and it is not regarded as in danger of extinction.

However, some local inhabitants are reduced or removed as a result of aquatic plant being eliminated along with the drainage of wetlands. The species is widespread and using a presumed large populace, as a result, there are no conservation measures set up for these snakes.

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Yet. They are usually killed by people out of fear, due to their similar look to the venomous cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) with which they share habitat. Roadkill can also be considered of a hazard to them.


The species has its special scientific name from their characteristic crossbanding,”fasciata” derives from the Latin for”group”.

Some scientists consider the salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii) to be a subspecies of these banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata). While some other scientific resources have believed these to be a subspecies of the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon).

There are now 3 known subspecies of potable water snakes which differ mostly in geographic distribution but also pattern and color.

Banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata fasciata – Linnaeus, 1766) – Located in the USA in east Texas, Louisiana, southeast Oklahoma, Arkansas, western Mississippi, southern Alabama, Florida, southern Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, southeast Missouri and Illinois.

Broad-banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata confluens – Blanchard, 1923) – Located in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and East Texas.

Florida watersnake (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris – Cope, 1895) – The Florida banded water snake is located through Florida and southeastern Georgia. The species has additionally established populations in California and has also been introduced to Brownsville in Texas.