Water Moccasin

Water Moccasin: (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

Water moccasins; commonly known as cotton mouth is a member of the crotalinae family, better known as pit vipers, although this this water moccasins do not have rattles. Water moccasins average in size between 20 to 48 inches long, with the record being 74 inches long.

Water moccasins color patterns vary, from brown to black. Some have dark cross – bands and some do not have cross – bands. They have stout bodies and their tail tapers at the end. Its triangular shaped head is wider than its neck. Their eyes are on the sides of the head and deep pits between the eyes and its nostril. Their belly is creamy in color with dark blotches. Water Moccasins are found throughout the state of Florida. They inhabit areas near water, including swamps, wetlands, lakes, pounds, rivers,ditches and marshes.

Water moccasins are carnivores, meaning they only consume meat and primarily consume rodents, squirrels, small birds, rabbits, small frogs, other snakes, lizards, fish, other small animals and baby alligators.

Water moccasins are nocturnal, however they are basking in the sun during the day. When a water moccasin is disturbed, it positions itself into a loose coil, cocking it head up and opens it mouth revealing a whitish lining, from this lose coiled position it lunges at its prey or victim striking fast. Cotton mouths do not have to be coiled to strike, striking from any direction to bite, either in the water or on the ground. They are unpredictable snakes, some are very aggressive and other may docile.  Their venom is haemotoxic, which causes damage to the red blood cells and the walls of the blood vessels. If you are ever bitten by a cotton mouth seek immediate medical attention.