Snakes Of The U.S., Canada And Baja California Snakes Of The U.S., Canada And Baja California: Southern Banded Water Snake aka Florida Banded Water Snake, Nerodia fasciata pictiventris

Common name: Southern Banded Water Snake aka Florida Banded Water Snake

Species name: Nerodia fasciata pictiventris

venomous ?
Non-venemous

Description: Adults average from 24-42 inches (61-106.7 cm). The record is 62.5 inches (158.8 cm). Stout bodied snake with broad black, brown, or red crossbands over most of body. The lighter narrower bands are tan, gray, or reddish and may contain a dark spot on the side. The light bands may be broken by a black strip down the middle of the back. Crossbands may be obscured as snake darkens with age. Belly is creamy yellow with wormlike red or black markings. Scales are keeled and there are 23-27 dorsal scale rows at midbody. The pupil is round. A dark stripe extends from the eye to the angle of the jaw. Juveniles have very clear red or black crossbands on light background. When threatened, the Florida Banded Water Snake defends itself by biting and smearing its tormentor with a foul smelling musk. The Florida Banded Water Snake bears live young. Mating occurs mid-winter to spring and litters of 20-30 young are born in late spring through summer. The young are 7.5-10.5 inches (19-26.6 cm) at birth.

Distribution: In Florida, the Florida Banded Water Snake is found throughout the peninsula, excluding the Florida Keys. Outside the Florida, it occurs in extreme southeastern Georgia and has been introduced to Brownsville, Texas.

Habitat: The Florida Banded Water Snake can be found in nearly all freshwater habitats, preferring the shallow waters of swamps, marshes, ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers.

Foods: Feeds on live or dead fishes, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates

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(Image by LaVonne)
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