Florida Banded Water Snake: (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris)
Florida banded water snakes (nerodia fasciata pictiventris) is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 24 to 42 inches long, with the record being 62.5 inches long. Florida banded water snakes are large and have stout bodies. Their color patterns consist of broad black, brown or red cross – bands covering most of its 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.
Florida banded water snakes are found throughout Florida, excluding the Keys. Preferring the shallow waters of swamps, marshes, rivers, lakes and streams.
Florida banded water snakes are carnivores and primarily consume fish, salamanders, frogs aquatic vegetation and carrion. Florida banded water snakes are mainly nocturnal, but they may be found during the day basking in the sun on banks or on vegetation hanging over the water.
Being an aquatic snake it is often mistaken for the venomous snake the cottonmouth and is often killed, however Florida banded water snakes can be easily distinguished from cottonmouths by there eyes and by their heads, as the cottonmouth has a triangular shaped head. When they fell threatened, the Florida banded water snake will defend itself by biting and a foul smelling musk. The Florida banded water snake is completely harmless to humans, although they will bite if provoked.