Eastern Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus) and the
Florida Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti) are large heavy-bodied
venomous snakes. This snake has two names and cottonmouth is the more appropriate one
and more widely used. This name is given because when the snake is threatened it will open its mouth and the lining of the
mouth is cotton white. The other name is used since it lives near on in water and the skin feels like moccasin leather. The
has a brown to olive-brown background with dark crossbands. When they get older they often lose their coloration, and will
become solid black. Florida Cottonmouth looks very similar to an Eastern but is usually a
lot darker. One big difference is that the have two dark vertical bards on each side of the nose. The babies look a lot like
baby copperheads and can be hard to distinguish. They also have the yellow tip to. Both subspecies average length is between
3ft to 4ft long. The maximum record for both subspecies was 7ft 2in.
of this snake lives mostly in cypress and tupelo swamps of the Deep South but they will live
in almost any place which is located near water including marshlands, secluded river systems, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs
are very opportunistic feeders. Their diet will include frogs, fish, small mammals, baby alligators, baby turtles, salamanders,
and other snakes. They are also known to eat dead animals right off the road.
are very common in the Deep South parts of the southeast. They are NOT found are north of
Atlanta. Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona
do not have them but people still swear that there are cottonmouths there. The only snakes in that area are harmless water
snakes. They are very secretive snakes and most of the time does not come in contact with people that often. This snake gets
confused with most water snakes. When threatened water snakes will puff up and almost completely looks like a cottonmouth.
One way to tell if the snake is a cottonmouth is when it swims they will swim with almost their whole body out of the water,
but the water snake swim mostly underwater. There is big misconception that the snakes you see in brush over hanging a creek,
river, pond, lake, and other bodies of water are cottonmouths. Almost always it is a water snake and there is story of them
falling into the boat and biting people. One other thing is that water snakes are very quick to learn of danger and will slide
in the water immediately, but the moccasin is very slow to become aware of danger. If confronted most moccasins if they are
not sure they can escape will stand their ground which gives people a big misconception that they are aggressive.