Green Water Snake: (Nerodia Floridana)
Green water snakes (nerodia floridana), is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 30 to 55 inches long, with the record being 74 inches long.
Green water snakes are large and thick bodied, having a greenish, brownish or orangish color with no real markings other than dark splotches. The belly is a light in color and has a faint pattern beneath its tail. Its head is large and spear shaped, with a scale between the eyes and scales on its upper lip, also having round pupils. They have keeled scales and 27 to 29 dorsal scale rows at mid – body.
Green water snakes are found throughout Florida except the Keys. They prefer habitats that are near calm waters, such as marshes, prairies, lakes, ponds, hyacinth – choked canals and estuaries.
Green water snakes are carnivores, primarily consuming frogs, tadpoles, salamanders and fish.
Green water snakes are mainly diurnal. Being an aquatic snake it is often mistaken for the venomous snake known as the cottonmouth and is often killed, however green water snakes can be easily distinguished from cottonmouths by their eyes and by their heads, as the cottonmouth has a triangular shaped head and the pupil is vertical. When green water snakes feel threatened or are agitated, they will bite and release a foul smelling odor. Green water snakes are completely harmless to humans.