Brown Water Snake: (Nerodia taxispilota)
Brown water snakes (nerodia taxispilota) is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 30 to 55 inches long, with the record being 69.5 inches long.
Brown water snakes are large in size and thick bodied. Their color patterns consist of a light tan with darker brown square like shaped blotches on its back. The dark squarish blotches on their light colored belly, extends upwards onto both sides of their bodies, between the dorsal blotches. They have keeled scales and there is 25 to 33 dorsal scales at its mid – body. The head is spear shaped and larger than its neck, they also have round pupils. The under It has keeled scales and 27 to 29 dorsal scale rows at mid – body.
Brown water snakes are found throughout Florida, excluding the Keys. Preferring areas near swamps, marshes, rivers, lakes and streams.
Brown water snakes are carnivores and primarily consume fish, salamanders, frogs and carrion.
Brown water snakes are mainly diurnal, but they will become nocturnal during summer when temperatures are too hot. Being an aquatic snake it is often mistaken for the venomous snake the cottonmouth, however brown water snakes can be easily distinguished from cottonmouths by there eyes. They are excellent climbers and can be found up to 20 feet on tree branches basking in the sun above the water. When they are startled by a fast approaching boat, they will leap from the branch and fall into the water, sometimes misjudging and landing in the boat. The brown water snake is completely harmless to humans, although they will bite if provoked.